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May 2, 2005

Grove City splits with Jackets

STRUTHERS, Ohio -- The Grove City College baseball team split a Presidents' Athletic Conference doubleheader against conference foe Waynesburg Sunday evening at Cene Park in Struthers, Ohio. Grove City (9-21, 5-10 PAC) pulled out a 3-2 win in the opener but the Yellow Jackets bounced back for an 11-7 win in Game Two.

The victory vaults Waynesburg (12-20-1, 6-9 PAC) into the PAC Championship Tournament May 12-14. The top four teams in the conference advance. Grove City finishes fifth.

In the opener, freshman DH Michael Busin (New Castle, Pa./Neshannock) belted a pair of doubles while junior shortstop Mike Ritter (Moon Township, Pa./Moon) went 2-for-3. Grove City tied the game in the bottom of the third as Ritter singled in freshman catcher Ray Mertz (Glenshaw, Pa./Shaler).

Grove City pulled ahead for good later in the third as a sacrifice fly from senior first baseman Joel Diller (Hartville, Ohio/Marlington) scored senior left fielder Michael McMillen (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny). Busin opened the fourth with a double and scored on a single from freshman right fielder Pat Messner (McDonald, Pa./West Allegheny).

Senior right-hander Luke Lester (Dover, Ohio/Dover) earned the victory, allowing just two runs in five innings. Junior setup man Mike Kennedy (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Chagrin Falls) pitched a scoreless sixth while sophomore closer Justin Miller (Harrisburg, Pa./Susquehanna Township) pitched the seventh to earn his College-record fifth save of the year.

Five Wolverine errors proved costly in the nightcap however, as Waynesburg scored seven unearned runs. The Yellow Jackets jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first and led wire-to-wire. Waynesburg eventually took an 11-2 lead into the seventh before the Wolverines rallied.

Busin opened the seventh with a solo homer to center field while freshman pinch hitter Ryan Jones (New Castle, Pa./Neshannock) followed with a single. Freshman pinch runner Steve Zimora (Coblesville, N.Y./Richmondville) eventually scored on an error while a triple by junior Jerry Ott (Bridgeville, Pa./South Fayette) scored Ritter and freshman second baseman Bryan Pierrot (Wadsworth, Ohio/Wadsworth).

Ott scored Grove City's seventh run on a Diller groundout but Waynesburg starter Justin Schrader finished the complete game. Ritter tripled, singled and scored three runs while Ott drove in three runs. Busin went 2-for-3.

Senior Mike Gundy (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian) took the loss, allowing two earned runs in four innings.

Game One Box Score                Game Two Box Score

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