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 Box Score                                                                                                                                    March 25, 2003

Hiram slips past Grove City, 9-8

by Greg Knowlden, sports information student assistant

GROVE CITY, Pa. – The Grove City College baseball team (1-3) dropped a 9-8 decision to Hiram College in a game that saw the Wolverines twice come back from three-run deficits Tuesday afternoon. 

After each side left the bases loaded in the second inning, the Terriers went ahead 3-0 in the third.  Grove City responded in its half of the inning as junior second baseman Jake Cuthbert (Belle Vernon, Pa./Belle Vernon) led off with a double.  A walk and a hit batter loaded the bases, and freshman shortstop Mike Ritter (Moon, Pa./Moon) came through with a two-out double which plated all three runners.  However, Hiram reclaimed the lead with three more runs in the fourth, chasing junior starter Chris Hull (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Chagrin Falls). Hull struck out five in 3 1/3 innings. 

Ritter played a large role in the next Wolverine rally in the bottom of the fifth, when they struck for four two-out runs.  The freshman’s triple to deep center field scored sophomore third baseman Jonathan Mycyk (Pittsburgh, Pa./Shady Side Academy).  Senior catcher Matt Skipper (Canton, Ohio/Canton South) walked, and was followed to first base by junior right fielder Greg Grupp (Harmony, Pa./Slippery Rock), who drew one of his four walks on the afternoon.   

Freshman center fielder Jason DeMeo (Washington, Pa./Trinity) cleared the bases with a three-run triple to right-center which knotted the score at 7. 

After two scoreless innings, Grove City came through with a run in the eighth.  Mycyk scored his third run of the game on an errant throw during a potential inning-ending double play. 

Sophomore reliever Luke Lester (Dover, Ohio/Dover) kept the Terriers off the scoreboard until the ninth inning.  He struck out five in 5 2/3 innings without allowing a walk. Lester retired nine straight in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings.  However, a hit batter was followed by a home run for the go-ahead run in the final frame.  The Wolverines were unable to scratch out a tying run in the last half of the inning. 

Ritter led the offense with a 3-for-4 day at the plate, had a pair of extra-base hits, and collected four runs batted in.  DeMeo went 2-for-5 with three RBIs on his triple, and Grupp walked four times to raise his season on-base percentage to .875.  Freshman DH Jerry Ott (Bridgeville, Pa./South Fayette) walked three times as the Wolverines were the recipients of 14 free passes. However, the Wolverines stranded 15 runners.

Grove City will look to rebound Wednesday with a home game against Pitt-Greensburg.  The weekend brings the start of Presidents’ Athletic Conference play as the Wolverines host Bethany Friday afternoon, and then travel to West Virginia on Saturday for a doubleheader.

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