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May 10, 2010

Wolverines cap regular season with sweep

GROVE CITY, Pa. -- The Grove City College baseball team closed the 2010 regular season Monday afternoon by sweeping a Presidents' Athletic Conference doubleheader with visiting Bethany at R. Jack Behringer Field. Grove City pulled out an 8-5 win in the opener and then rallied from an early six-run deficit in the nightcap to claim an 11-9 victory.

Grove City is now 18-17 overall and 11-7 in the league. Grove City will be the third seed in this week's PAC Championship Tournament. Bethany (20-17, 6-12 PAC) needed to win one of the games to clinch the fourth and final spot in the tournament.

In the opener, Grove City trailed 5-2 entering the bottom of the fourth inning but the Wolverines charged ahead with a four-run outburst. Freshman second baseman Zach Butler (Massillon, Ohio/Cuyahoga Valley Christian) helped ignite the rally by doubling in junior center fielder Dan Quirk (Schuylerville, N.Y./Schuylerville). The Wolverines then tied the game at 5-5 when Butler and senior first baseman Tyler Thompson (Lee, Maine/Lee Academy) scored on a single from freshman right fielder Josh Sacks (Columbia, Md./Chapelgate Christian).

The Wolverines then took their first lead of the game later in the inning when junior catcher Marcus Magister (Allison Park, Pa./Hampton) drove in Sacks with a sacrifice fly.

Grove City added a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth as Magister and junior left fielder Butch Kriger (Pittsburgh, Pa./Montour) rapped back-to-back run-scoring doubles.

Bethany led 2-0 entering the bottom of the third but Kriger lofted a sacrifice fly and Magister cracked a solo homer to tie the game. Magister now has 23 career home runs, tying him with Nate Kauffman (1998-2001) as Grove City's all-time leader in home runs.

Butler and Magister both finished the game 2 for 3 while Sacks went 2 for 2 with three runs scored. Defensively, Grove City turned three double plays.

Freshman pitcher Erick Locker (Canton, Ohio/Lake Center Christian) earned the victory after allowing two earned runs and three hits in four innings. Locker walked four. Junior Steve Stombaugh (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mount Lebanon) pitched two innings of scoreless relief while Butler pitched the seventh and recorded his second save of the season.

Four Grove City errors in the first inning of Game Two helped Bethany take a 6-0 lead. The Wolverines trimmed the lead to 6-2 in the bottom half of the inning, however, as Magister singled in Sacks and Kriger scored on a sacrifice fly by junior Andrew Patterson (Akron, Ohio/Cuyahoga Valley Christian).

Grove City then tied the game in the bottom of the second as three Bethany errors fueled a four-run inning. Patterson's run-scoring double highlighted the inning. Bethany reclaimed an 8-6 lead in the fourth but Grove City countered with run-scoring singles from Moran and Magister.

The Wolverines took the lead for good in the fifth when freshman first baseman Kyle Shock (Loudonville, Ohio/Hillsdale) tripled in freshman catcher Andrew Desrosiers (Uniontown, Ohio/Hoover). Shock then scored Grove City's 10th run on a sacrifice fly by sophomore Brandon Durbin (Zelienople, Pa./Seneca Valley).

Sacks doubled as part of a 2-for-3 outing while Magister finished 2 for 4. Kriger scored twice.

Junior pitcher Kyle Silk (Akron, Ohio/Cuyahoga Valley Christian) earned the win out of the bullpen after allowing one unearned run in 2 2/3 innings. Silk fanned one and did not walk a batter. Junior Cory Metcalf (Ashland, Ohio/Ashland) started and pitched 4 1/3 innings. He allowed eight runs but just one earned run.

Grove City will face Thomas More Thursday at 12 p.m. in the semifinals of the PAC Championship Tournament at Ross Memorial Park in Washington, Pa. Thomas More is the No. 2 seed. Top-seeded Washington & Jefferson will host No. 4 Westminster at 3 p.m. Thursday in the other semifinal.

Game One Box Score                Game Two Box Score

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