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May 1, 2011

Grove City splits at Geneva

BEAVER FALLS, Pa. -- The Grove City College baseball team split a doubleheader at Geneva Saturday afternoon in a clash of Presidents' Athletic Conference members. Grove City (18-14) pulled out a 7-5 win in Game One but Geneva (20-14) captured a 5-4 win in Game Two.

In the opener, Grove City scored twice in the top of the seventh to break a 5-5 tie. Senior center fielder Dan Quirk (Saratoga Springs, N.Y./Schuylerville) led off with a single, moved to second on a sacrifice and then scored on a double by senior shortstop Scott Moran (Columbia, Md./Chapelgate Christian).

Moran scored Grove City's seventh run when senior catcher Marcus Magister (Allison Park, Pa./Hampton) laced a two-run single.

The Wolverines took a 3-0 lead in the third inning when sophomore right fielder Josh Sacks (Columbia, Md./Chapelgate Christian) singled in two runs. Sacks later scored on a groundout by senior second baseman Andrew Patterson (Akron, Ohio/Cuyahoga Valley Christian).

Sacks scored an unearned run in the fifth inning and senior DH Kyle Wolff (Centerville, Ohio/Centerville) pushed the lead to 5-0 in the top of the sixth with a solo home run. Geneva rallied to tie the game in the sixth before Grove City's two-run rally in the seventh. Sacks and Wolff both went 2 for 3 and Moran went 2 for 4.

Senior pitcher Kyle Silk (Akron, Ohio/Cuyahoga Valley Christian) earned the win for Grove City by firing a complete game. He struck out eight and allowed just five hits in seven innings.

Moran cracked a two-run homer in the fourth inning of the nightcap, helping Grove City grab a 4-1 lead. However, Geneva took the lead for good by scoring four times in the bottom of the fifth.

The Wolverines grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second inning when senior left fielder Butch Kriger (Pittsburgh, Pa./Montour) doubled and then scored on Quirk's single. In the fourth, sophomore catcher Doug Wells (Staten Island, N.Y./St. Peter's) led off with a single and scored on a Sacks double. Moran followed with his two-run homer.

Magister had three hits in four at-bats in Game Two while Quirk went 2 for 3. Moran and freshman first baseman Ryan Parker (Houston, Pa./Chartiers-Houston) both went 2 for 4. Grove City finished with 12 hits.

Sophomore pitcher Zach Butler (Massillon, Ohio/Cuyahoga Valley Christian) started and allowed four runs in 4 1/3 innings. Senior Chip Hasek (Valencia, Pa./Mars) and sophomore Max Vickerman (Zelienople, Pa./Seneca Valley) both pitched in relief with Hasek taking the setback.

Grove City head coach Rob Skaricich now has 234 victories in 14 seasons as coach. Retired head coach/athletic director Jack Behringer owns the school record for baseball coaching victories as his teams won 236 games from 1959 to 1988. Saturday's games do not count in the conference standings due to Geneva's provisional status in NCAA Division III.

The Wolverines have also clinched one of the fourth spots in the season-ending PAC Championship Tournament. The Wolverines (12-6 PAC) are mathematically alive to clinch the top seed in the tournament. Washington & Jefferson (14-4) and Thomas More (13-5) currently own the top two spots. W&J and Thomas More play a three-game series next weekend. If Grove City sweeps all three games from Westminster next Friday and Saturday and Thomas More wins two of three games with W&J, the teams would be tied at 15-6.

Grove City would then receive the No. 1 seed based upon head-to-head results with the other teams. The Wolverines went 3-0 against Thomas More and 1-2 against W&J. In that scenario, W&J would be 3-3 against the other two teams and Thomas More would be 2-4.

The Wolverines visit Westminster Friday at 3 p.m.

Game One Box Score            Game Two Box Score

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