Grand Rapids, MI –
This past weekend, your Grace Christian University Tigers Baseball team traveled down to Fort Wayne, IN for a double header against Indiana University Purdue University Columbus at a neutral site. The Tigers earned a split with the Crimson Pride on the day, winning game one 8-4 in extra innings, while dropping the high scoring nightcap 14-18.
The Tigers went up early in the game 1-0 from a sacrifice fly in the second inning by sophomore, Alex Bonnema. Blake Johnson kept the game close on the mound, hurling 4.0 innings with 6 K’s and only allowing 3 runs. AJ Scott would contribute next in the 5th inning with an RBI triple, not to be outdone by Dylan Thomas who hit a solo home run to bring the Tigers within just one run in the 6th inning.
Grace would later tie things up and force extra innings, in which they pounced right away. The Tigers went with some small ball, using 2 bunt hits to produce 4 runs in the top of the 8th. Trevor Dase would close the door on the mound, picking up his team leading second win of the season.
Coach Wolfe added his thoughts to the game: “Getting a win in extra innings was a huge step for our guys. I am incredibly proud of the team for showing the resilience to not only come back in that game, but then make a statement with a huge 8th inning and not look back.”
The Tigers got off to a slower start in game 2, but did not let that stop them from making the game interesting. A high scoring affair, Grace put 14 hits on the board, paced by Tyler Thomas who went 3-3 in the game with two doubles and a grand slam, setting a new single game Grace Christian record of 7 RBI’s. Alex Bonnema, Dylant Thomas, and Lorenzo Lopez also had two-hit games apiece. It wouldn’t be enough though, as the Tigers would ultimately fall to the Crimson Pride by a score of 18-14.
“Our offense stayed hot, but we made some mental mistakes in the field and ran through too many pitchers,” commented Coach Wolfe. “A good day overall, but game 2 showed us that we can’t be satisfied with where we’re at.”
GCU and IUPUC will square off again this season for a 3-game set at Kellogg Woods Park on Friday, April 28th and Saturday, April 29th. Up next however for the Tigers is a road double header against Concordia University Ann Arbor. Those games will be Tuesday, April 18th at 2pm and 4pm EST.