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March 4, 2009

Wolverines open in Florida

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. -- The Grove City College baseball team opened the 2009 season with six games Thursday-Saturday at Chain O'Lakes Park. The Wolverines went 2-4 on their southern trip, picking up victories over Cornell (Iowa) and Misericordia.

Grove City opened play February 26 by dropping both ends of a doubleheader with Hanover. The Wolverines fell in the opener 6-0, then dropped a 7-6 decision in 11 innings in Game Two.

In the opener, junior pitcher Mike Herringshaw (Chardon, Ohio/Notre Dame Cathedral Latin) allowed five runs in 4 2/3 innings while sophomore reliever Steve Stombaugh (Mount Lebanon, Pa./Mount Lebanon) pitched the final 1 1/3 innings. Grove City managed just four singles in Game One.

Grove City bounced back offensively in the nightcap, though, by churning out 14 hits. The Wolverines trailed 7-4 entering the bottom of the 11th before scoring twice. However, Grove City left sophomore outfielder Butch Kriger (Pittsburgh, Pa./Montour) stranded at second to end the game.

Senior first baseman Brad Stombaugh (Mount Lebanon, Pa./Mount Lebanon) went 4 for 5 and drove in a career-high five runs. Sophomore catcher Marcus Magister (Allison Park, Pa./Hampton) collected three hits and scored twice. Sophomore right fielder Scott Moran (Columbia, Md./Chapelgate Christian) singled twice and scored a pair of runs.

Sophomore starting pitcher Andy Klimek (Oakdale, Pa./South Fayette) allowed one earned run in 5 2/3 innings. Senior reliever Matt Tindall (Copley, Ohio/Copley) pitched a career-high five innings but took the defeat after surrendering a pair of earned runs. Steve Stombaugh recorded the final out in relief.

Grove City rebounded the next day for an 8-7 win over Cornell. The Wolverines trailed 7-6 in the bottom of the eighth but senior shortstop Ben Wilson (Mechanicsville, Va./Lee-Davis) doubled home Moran to tie the game. Wilson then scored the eventual game-winner on a Kriger single.

Kriger went 4 for 5 in the win while Wilson also added two singles. Moran went 3 for 4 with three runs scored. Brad Stombaugh and sophomore second baseman Zach Wilson (Mechanicsville, Pa./Lee-Davis) both doubled while freshman third baseman Brandon Durbin (Cranberry Township, Pa./Seneca Valley) singled twice.

Sophomore Cory Metcalf (Ashland, Ohio/Ashland) allowed three earned runs in five innings. Freshman reliever Andrew Krull (Imperial, Pa./West Allegheny) earned the win after allowing one earned run in three innings of work. Sophomore Kyle Silk (Akron, Ohio/Cuyahoga Valley Christian) fired a scoreless ninth for his first save.

Later Friday afternoon, Grove City dropped a 16-9 decision to perennial power Augustana (Ill.). Grove City rallied to take an 8-6 lead in the top of the sixth inning but Augustana answered with six runs in the bottom half of the inning.

Senior center fielder Seth Thompson (Canton, Ohio/GlenOak) and senior second baseman Cody Koontz (Moundsville, W. Va./John Marshall) both went 3 for 4 with a double. Junior third baseman Mark Scriven (Gibsonia, Pa./Dutch Fork, S.C.) also went 3 for 4 while sophomore shortstop Andrew Patterson (Akron, Ohio/Cuyahoga Valley Christian) doubled.

Senior left-hander Zach Hillegas (Bridgeport, W. Va./Bridgeport) started for the Wolverines and allowed six runs in 3 1/3 innings. Sophomore J.T. Seelman (Pittsburgh, Pa./Thomas Jefferson) pitched two innings of relief while classmate Matt Smith (Albany, N.Y./Loudonville Christian) followed with 2 2/3 innings. Seelman absorbed the loss after allowing three earned runs.

Grove City wrapped up the trip by splitting a doubleheader with Misericordia Saturday. Magister belted two homers, tripled and drove in six runs in the opener to help lift the Wolverines to an 11-5 win. Magister also scored three runs in the win while Durbin and Moran both tripled and singled. Durbin also drove in three runs. Brad Stombaugh doubled and singled.

Silk picked up the win after allowing one earned run in four innings. Herringshaw entered a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the sixth but got the final four outs to earn the save.

Misericordia rebounded for an 8-7 win in the nightcap after scoring single runs in the sixth and seventh innings. Magister cracked his third homer of the day while Moran went 4 for 4 with three doubles. Kriger added two hits.

Sophomore Chip Hasek (Valencia, Pa./Mars) started and struck out four in 2 1/3 innings. However, Hasek also walked five. Krull, Tindall and Herringshaw all pitched in relief. Herringshaw took the defeat after allowing a pair of runs in 1 1/3 innings.

Moran hit .565 (13 of 23) for the week while Magister hit .550 (11 of 20). Magister slugged 1.100 during the week and posted a .630 on-base percentage.

Grove City will open Presidents' Athletic Conference play March 20 at Westminster. The Wolverines will host Westminster the next day in a PAC doubleheader.

Hanover Box Score (Game One)                    Hanover Box Score (Game Two)

Cornell Box Score                                        Augustana Box Score

Misericordia Box Score (Game One)              Misericordia Box Score (Game Two)

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