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March 2, 2004

Grove City opens season in Fort Myers

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Grove City College baseball team opened the 2004 season with a six-game schedule at the Gene Cusic Classic at Fort Myers, Fla.'s Terry Park Feb. 26-28.

The Wolverines went 2-4 over the three-day span, picking up wins over NAIA foes St. Vincent and Seton Hill. 

Grove City opened play Thursday, Feb. 26 by splitting a doubleheader with St. Vincent. Grove City dropped the opener 18-0 but bounced back for an 8-6 win in the nightcap.

In the second game, junior left fielder Michael McMillen (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny) sparked the Grove City attack from his leadoff spot, going 4-for-4 with a double and two runs scored. Senior right fielder Greg Grupp (Harmony, Pa./Slippery Rock) cracked a pair of doubles and drove in five runs. He roped a three-run double in the first inning, then followed with a two-run double in the second inning. 

Center fielder Jerry Ott (Bridgeville, Pa./South Fayette) went 2-for-3 while second baseman Jake Cuthbert (Belle Vernon, Pa./Belle Vernon) scored twice. Senior Chris Hull (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Chagrin Falls) worked into the fifth to pick up the win. Sophomore Erie Arnesen (Princeton, N.J./Timothy Christian) worked 2 2/3 innings to get the save.

In the opener, Grove City managed just two hits and trailed 7-0 after one inning. Senior Sean O'Donnell (Brackenridge, Pa./St. Joseph) pitched two innings and took the loss.

Friday, Grove City opened play with a 7-4 victory over Seton Hill in a makeup game from Feb. 25. Junior first baseman Joel Diller (Hartville, Ohio/Marlington) doubled, singled and knocked in three runs. His two-run double in the top of the third highlighted Grove City's four-run rally. Grupp also knocked in two runs while junior catcher A.J. Stedford (Beaver, Pa./Beaver) doubled and singled. McMillen and Grupp also had doubles.

On the mound, sophomore Ryan Carr (New Castle, Pa./Mohawk) allowed three earned runs in five innings to earn the win. Junior reliever Luke Lester (Dover, Ohio/Dover) recorded the final six outs, earning the save.

The win gave 7th-year head coach Rob Skaricich his 100th career victory. He is 100-90 in his career.

The Wolverines closed play Friday by dropping both ends of a doubleheader against Cornell College (Iowa). Cornell won the first game 8-3, then held off the Wolverines for a 4-3 win in the second game. Ott doubled, singled and knocked in two runs in the opener. 

Senior Matt Kearney (New Castle, Pa./Neshannock) took the loss, allowing six runs in five innings. Five of the runs were unearned, however. Senior John Jacobs (McDonald, Pa./West Allegheny) allowed two unearned runs in two innings of relief.

Grupp, Hull, Ott and freshman Jarrett Wiggers (Panama, N.Y./Panama Central) all doubled and singled in the second game against Cornell. Trailing 4-2 entering the seventh, Grove City cut the lead to 4-3 with two outs and the bases loaded. However, the Wolverines left the bases loaded with a game-ending fielder's choice.

Junior Mike Gundy (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian) allowed two earned runs in five innings but took the setback. Cuthbert fired one inning of perfect relief.

Saturday, Grove City fell to Franklin (Ind.) 10-1 as five errors resulted in seven unearned runs. Grupp started and pitched into the fourth, allowing three earned runs. Arnesen, Lester and freshman Dan Aloisio (Chicago, Ill./Wheaton Academy) all pitched in relief. Stedford led Grove City's six-hit performance with a double. 

St. Vincent 18, Grove City 0 (Game One)               Grove City 8, St. Vincent 6 (Game Two)

Grove City 7, Seton Hill 4 (Game Three)                Cornell (Iowa) 8, Grove City 3 (Game Four)

Cornell (Iowa) 4, Grove City 3 (Game Five)            Franklin (Ind.) 10, Grove City 1 (Game Six)

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