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May 11, 2006

Grove City tops Bethany in PAC Tournament

WASHINGTON, Pa. -- Seven Grove City players collected a pair of hits Thursday afternoon as the Wolverines opened the 2006 Presidents' Athletic Conference Baseball Championship Tournament with a 9-3 semifinal victory over Bethany at Washington and Jefferson's Ross Memorial Park.

The Wolverines (26-11) will play either Washington and Jefferson or Thomas More Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. in the winner's bracket final. Washington and Jefferson and Thomas More began their semifinal game Thursday night but the game was halted in the top of the first inning due to heavy rain. Earlier in the day, rain delayed the start of Grove City's game by 90 minutes. Grove City and Bethany also had to endure a two-hour rain delay in the seventh inning.

Grove City, the No. 2 seed in the four-team tournament, jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first as sophomore catcher Ray Mertz (Glenshaw, Pa./Shaler) roped a two-run single to left that scored senior shortstop Mike Ritter (Moon Township, Pa./Moon) and sophomore third baseman Bryan Pierrot (Wadsworth, Ohio/Wadsworth).

Bethany took a 3-2 lead in the third on a two-run homer from Aaron Meadows but Grove City bounced back in the bottom half of the third as Mertz and senior right fielder Jerry Ott (Bridgeville, Pa./South Fayette) each had run-scoring singles. Grove City extended its lead to 5-3 in the fourth as Pierrot doubled and later scored on an error. Ott added an RBI single in the sixth.

In the rain-interrupted seventh inning, freshman second baseman Ben Wilson (Mechanicsville, Va./Lee-Davis) tripled home a run while junior left fielder Chris Schwamberger (Mansfield, Ohio/Madison) added a run-scoring double. An error led to Grove City's ninth run.

Senior Erik Arnesen (Princeton, N.J./Timothy Christian) improved to 9-0 with the victory. He allowed three earned runs and eight hits over seven innings. Arnesen struck out seven and walked only one. Junior Eric Hull (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Chagrin Falls) fired two hitless innings of relief.

Sophomore center fielder Jon Coyne (Solon, Ohio/Solon), Mertz, Ott, Pierrot, Ritter, Schwamberger and Wilson all had two hits. Pierrot scored three runs.

It is Grove City's first PAC Tournament win since the 2002 PAC championship game.

Box Score

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