The Wolverines repeated as PAC baseball champions, going 3-0 at the conference tournament for the second year in a row.
by Greg Knowlden, sports information student assistant
GREENVILLE, PA, April 27, 2002 -- The Grove City College baseball team (10-12) successfully defended its PAC tournament championship Saturday at Thiel College by finishing off a three game sweep for the second year in a row. The Wolverines defeated the Tomcats Friday and Saturday to win the tourney on Thiel’s home field.
Sophomore Greg Grupp (Harmony, PA/Slippery Rock) threw Grove City’s third straight gem, striking out seven and allowing only seven baserunners in his eight innings. Senior Justin Magee (Grove City, PA/Grove City) entered in the ninth to combine with Grupp for the shutout. Over the weekend, Wolverine pitchers surrendered only one earned run in their 27 innings of work as they struck out 24 would-be hitters and walked only five.
Grove City capitalized on leadoff baserunners in the first three frames. Senior CF Eric Bell (Grove City, PA/Grove City) had hits to start the first and third, and scored both times. In the second, junior C Matt Skipper (Canton, OH/Canton South) led off with a double, and was driven in on a two-base hit by freshman 3B John Mycyk (Pittsburgh, PA/Shady Side Academy). The Wolverines pushed the margin to 6-0 by scoring twice in the sixth, and closed the afternoon’s offensive display by getting three runs in the eighth on Skipper’s single, a double off the left-center field wall by freshman LF Mike McMillen (Pittsburgh, PA/North Allegheny), and a single by junior SS Jason Onyshko (Valencia, PA/Mars).
Skipper was 3-for-4 on the day and scored three times, and Bell was 2-of-4 at the plate while scoring twice. Sophomore 2B Jake Cuthbert (Belle Vernon, PA/Belle Vernon) went 1-for-2 and walked three times.
Bell, a local product playing his final conference games, went 7-for-12 in the tournament and scored five runs while driving in three. A walk and two hit-by-pitches raise the Wolverine leadoff hitter’s weekend on-base percentage to .667 (10-of-15). Bell also made the squad’s defensive play of the year, crashing into the fence in left-center field to make a spectacular catch and protect a 4-0 advantage.
Grove City concludes its season schedule over the next two weeks, with the only home contest a double-header next Saturday during Parents’ Weekend.
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