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March 6, 2006

Wolverines open season 4-2 in Orlando

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Grove City College baseball team opened the 2006 season by winning four of six games last week at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex.

Among Grove City's four wins were a three-game sweep of Farmingdale State (N.Y.) and a victory over No. 23 Manchester. Grove City closed the week by dropping a doubleheader against Salve Regina (Maine) Saturday afternoon.

The Wolverines opened the week with a come-from-behind win over Farmingdale, 5-4, Thursday. Grove City trailed 4-2 but scored twice in the bottom of the eighth before pushing home the game-winner in the ninth. Sophomore third baseman Bryan Pierrot (Wadsworth, Ohio/Wadsworth) led off the ninth with a single and eventually scored on a run-scoring single by senior shortstop Mike Ritter (Moon Township, Pa./Moon).

Pierrot went 2-for-5 in the win while senior right fielder Jerry Ott (Bridgeville, Pa./South Fayette) doubled. Senior reliever Mike Kennedy (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Chagrin Falls) earned the victory. Starting pitcher Erik Arnesen (Princeton, N.J./Timothy Christian) started and allowed two earned runs in seven innings. He struck out eight Farmingdale batters.

Against 23rd-ranked Manchester, Grove City rallied from an early 4-1 deficit for a 7-5 victory. Junior left fielder Chris Schwamberger (Mansfield, Ohio/Madison) went 3-for-3 in the win while freshman second baseman Ben Wilson (Mechanicsville, Va./Ben Davis) tripled and scored two runs.

Freshman Matt Tindall (Copley, Ohio/Copley) earned the victory in relief by pitching two scoreless innings. Junior closer Justin Miller (Harrisburg, Pa./Susquehanna Township) recorded the save with two hitless innings of relief.

Friday, the Wolverines swept a doubleheader against Farmingdale, 3-0 and 11-8. Senior pitcher Ryan Carr (New Castle, Pa./Mohawk) fired a two-hit shutout in the opener. He faced just 24 batters in seven innings. Pierrot helped lead the Grove City offense with a double and two singles while Ritter doubled and singles. Schwamberger added a double to the Wolverines' 12-hit attack in the opener.

In Friday's nightcap, Grove City broke the game open with a six-run sixth inning. Ott's three-run triple highlighted the outburst while sophomores Mike Hess (Sewickley, Pa./Avonworth) and Pat Messner (McDonald, Pa./West Allegheny) also had triples in the win. Ritter went 3-for-4 with two runs batted in.

Freshman lefty Zach Hillegas (Bridgeport, W. Va./Bridgeport) earned the win, allowing two unearned runs in four innings. He struck out five and did not walk a batter. Junior Eric Hull (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Chagrin Falls) pitched two innings of relief while Miller pitched the seventh.

Saturday against Salve Regina, the Wolverines' four-game win streak came to an end with a 7-2 loss in the opener. Sophomore center fielder John Coyne (Solon, Ohio/Solon) belted an inside-the-park home run for Grove City while sophomore catcher Ray Mertz (Glenshaw, Pa./Shaler) doubled.

Kennedy took the loss in relief of sophomore starter Chris Bowser (Stow, Ohio/Stow). Kennedy allowed five runs over the final three innings. All five runs were unearned, however, as the Wolverines committed a pair of errors in Salve Regina's five-run sixth. Bowser allowed two runs in four innings.

Grove City closed the trip with a 13-7 loss to Salve Regina in the nightcap. Junior first baseman Dan Bartkowiak (Fredonia, N.Y./Fredonia) doubled, singled and drove in two runs while sophomore second baseman Jamie Skyrm (Elkhart, Ind./Elkhart Baptist) doubled. Sophomore DH Steve Kennedy (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Chagrin Falls) drove in a pair of runs while Schwamberger swiped two bases.

Tindall took the loss in relief of starter Cody Koontz (Moundsville, W.Va./John Marshall). Tindall allowed three earned runs in two innings.

Pierrot hit .467 (7 of 15) for the week while Ritter went 6-for-14 (.429). Schwamberger hit .417 (5 for 12) on the trip.

Grove City will visit Pitt-Greensburg Saturday, March 18, at 12 p.m. in a non-conference doubleheader.

Farmingdale State First Game Box                    Manchester Game Box                Farmingdale State Second Game Box

Farmingdale State Third Game Box                  Salve Regina First Game Box       Salve Regina Second Game Box

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