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May 13, 2011

Grove City remains alive in conference tourney

STRUTHERS, Ohio -- The Grove City College baseball team went 1-1 in the first day of action at the 2011 Presidents' Athletic Conference Championship Tournament Friday at Bob Cene Park. The Wolverines (22-15) dropped a 12-3 decision to No. 4 seed Westminster in the opening round of the tournament. Grove City then bounced back in the consolation bracket for an 8-5 win over Washington & Jefferson Friday afternoon in an elimination game.

Grove City will now face Westminster Saturday morning at 10 a.m. in an elimination game. The winner will advance to the championship game against No. 3 seed Thomas More at 1 p.m.

The Wolverines jumped out to a 7-0 lead en route to eliminating Washington & Jefferson. Grove City grabbed a quick 2-0 advantage in the top of the first when sophomore catcher Doug Wells (Staten Island, N.Y./St. Peter's) roped a two-run single that scored sophomore right fielder Josh Sacks (Columbia, Md./Chapelgate Christian) and senior shortstop Scott Moran (Columbia, Md./Chapelgate Christian).

Moran and senior left fielder Butch Kriger (Pittsburgh, Pa./Montour) both laced doubled in the second inning, helping Grove City push its lead to 4-0. Sacks scored Grove City's fifth run of the game in the fourth inning after a sacrifice fly by senior DH Marcus Magister (Allison Park, Pa./Hampton).

In the fifth, junior second baseman Brandon Durbin (Zelienople, Pa./Seneca Valley) singled and Kriger followed with a one-out double. Senior center fielder Dan Quirk (Saratoga Springs, N.Y./Schuylerville) singled in Durbin and Moran later scored on a Sacks sacrifice fly.

W&J cut the lead to 7-5 in the bottom of the sixth but Grove City picked up an insurance run in the top of the eighth. Magister singled, moved to second on a wild pitch and then advanced to third on a passed ball. Sophomore first baseman Kyle Shock (Loudonville, Ohio/Hillsdale) singled in Magister, closing the scoring.

Kriger went 3 for 5 with three doubles while Quirk, Moran and Sacks all had two hits each.

Senior pitcher Cory Metcalf (Ashland, Ohio/Ashland) improved to 9-0 on the season by pitching six innings. He allowed five runs and walked one. Sophomore Zach Butler (Massillon, Ohio/Cuyahoga Valley Christian) pitched the final three innings for his third save of the season.

Metcalf is the second Grove City pitcher to open a season 9-0. Erik Arnesen finished the 2006 season 9-0. The nine wins tie the single-season school record. Mike Herringshaw went 9-4 in 2010. Grove City also has a school record 13 saves as a team this year.

Westminster broke open Friday's first game with a six-run fifth inning. Westminster finished the game with 18 hits.

Quirk led Grove City's 10-hit attack by going 3 for 4 with a triple and two runs scored. Kriger and Moran also tripled.

Senior pitcher Kyle Silk (Akron, Ohio/Cuyahoga Valley Christian) started and took the setback for Grove City. He allowed eight runs in five innings. Sophomore Max Vickerman (Zelienople, Pa./Seneca Valley) allowed two runs in the sixth. Senior J.T. Seelman (Pittsburgh, Pa./Thomas Jefferson) allowed an unearned run in two innings of work. Junior Andrew Krull (Imperial, Pa./West Allegheny) pitched the ninth.

Grove City is in pursuit of its fourth conference title in the last 10 years. The Wolverines are the top seed in this year's tournament.

Westminster Box Score                Washington & Jefferson Box Score

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