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March 29, 2008

Grove City earns two extra-inning wins

BETHANY, W. Va. -- The Grove City College baseball team opened Presidents' Athletic Conference play Saturday afternoon by sweeping a doubleheader against Bethany at Bethany Park. Grove City (5-3, 2-0 PAC) pulled out a 12-11 win in 11 innings in the opener. Grove City then picked up a 4-3, 10-inning win in the nightcap.

The doubleheader was originally scheduled to be played in Grove City but the teams moved the games to Bethany because of field conditions. Grove City remained the designated home team for both games.

In the opener, junior shortstop Ben Wilson (Mechanicsville, Va./Lee-Davis) broke an 11-11 tie in the bottom of the 11th with a two-out single that scored senior center fielder Brian Moran (Columbia, Md./Chapelgate Christian). Earlier in the inning, Moran walked and stole second.

Grove City trailed 11-10 entering the bottom of the ninth but the Wolverines sent the game to extra innings as senior catcher Ray Mertz (Glenshaw, Pa./Shaler) drove in freshman pinch runner Scott Moran (Columbia, Md./Chapelgate Christian) with a sacrifice fly.

Bethany charged out to a 6-0 lead in Game One but Grove City responded with a six-run outburst in the bottom of the third. Senior DH Pat Messner (McDonald, Pa./West Allegheny) belted a three-run homer to cap the rally and tie the game. Messner went 3 for 4 and drove in four runs.

Senior closer Jon Coyne (Solon, Ohio/Solon) earned the win by pitching two scoreless innings. Senior Chris Bowser (Stow, Ohio/Stow) started and allowed six runs in three innings.

Grove City pounded out a season-high 23 hits. Junior left fielder Seth Thompson (Canton, Ohio/GlenOak) and freshman right fielder Butch Kriger (Pittsburgh, Pa./Montour) both went 4 for 6 while junior first baseman Brad Stombaugh (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mount Lebanon) collected three hits. Brian Moran and freshman third baseman Zach Wilson (Mechanicsville, Va./Lee-Davis) both doubled

Like in Game One, Grove City trailed in the bottom of the ninth but sent the game into extra innings. Brian Moran's two-out double drove home Thompson to tie the game 3-3.

In the 10th, Ben Wilson singled, moved to second on a sacrifice from junior Cody Koontz (Moundsville, W. Va./John Marshall) and scored on a Stombaugh single to center.

Sophomore Michael Herringshaw (Chardon, Ohio/Notre Dame Cathedral Latin) fired a hitless 10th inning out of the bullpen to earn the win. Freshman starter Cory Metcalf (Ashland, Ohio/Ashland) struck out eight and allowed just one run and three hits  in eight innings of work but received a no-decision.

Zach Wilson went 3 for 5 while Thompson doubled and scored three runs.

Grove City will visit Thiel Monday afternoon 12 p.m. in a PAC doubleheader.

Game One Box Score            Game Two Box Score

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