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March 15, 2014

Wolverines drop pair at La Roche

PITTSBURGH, Pa. -- The Grove City College baseball team dropped a pair of close games to the hands of the La Roche Redhawks on Saturday afternoon in Pittsburgh. The Wolverines fell 5-4 in 10 innings in the opener before losing 4-2 in the second game.

Junior Josh Hodges (Johnson City, N.Y./Johnson City) led the Wolverines on the day by going 5-for-8 with a double in the two games.

In game one, Grove City (2-7) scored four runs in the first two innings to jump out to the early lead. Hodges would single with one out and later score on a passed ball while a single by freshman Nolan Myers (Landisville, Pa./Hempfield) would allow freshman Matt Waugaman (Wexford, Pa./North Allegheny) to score, making it 2-0 through one.

After a 1-2-3 inning on the mound from senior Erick Locker (Canton, Ohio/Lake Center Christian), freshman David Laylock (Pittsburgh, Pa./Pine-Richland) led off the top of the second inning with a single and would advance to second on a sacrifice bunt from freshman Jimmy Palmer (Pittsburgh, Pa./Chartiers Valley). Following a groundout that allowed Laylock to move to third, Hodges would single to score Laylock.

Hodges would then moved to second via a Waugaman walk and steal third before coming home to score on a La Roche error.

The Redhawks (8-5) would cut the gap to 4-2 in the third when a Brian Tougher single scored Franzee Baralamas and Matt Sabatini, and they would add another run in the bottom of the fourth, as Colin Williamson doubled and later scored on a Corey Lazor single to cut the deficit to 4-3.

Grove City would maintain a one-run lead into the bottom of the seventh, but La Roche would load the bases with no outs, allowing a Tougher sacrifice fly to score Devin Pritts and send the game into extra innings.

The Redhawks nearly ended the game in the bottom of the eighth by taking advantage of a Wolverine error, but senior Matt Corner (Slippery Rock, Pa./Slippery Rock) was able to throw pinch runner Taylor Huber out at home to extend the game.

Following a quick ninth inning, Hodges would lead off the top of the 10th with a double, but Grove City was unable to advance him home.

In the bottom of the 10th, La Roche led off the inning with a pair of singles and advanced the runners with a sacrifice bunt. The Wolverines intentionally walked Lazor to load the bases and play for the force out, but a wild pitch would allow the Redhawks to score and end the game.

Locker started and earned a no-decision on the mound, allowing eight hits and striking out three over seven innings. Sophomore Ryan Gallagher (Pittsburgh, Pa./Shaler) allowed just two hits while working the eighth and ninth innings, while freshman Anthony Marnejon (Columbiana, Ohio/Crestview) took the loss for the Wolverines.

 In the nightcap, it was La Roche who took control early, scoring two runs in the third and two more in the fifth to lead 4-0.

The Wolverines would get on the board in the top of the sixth. After a Hodges groundout, Waugaman would reach first on a dropped third strike and then steal second and advance to third on a passed ball. Sophomore Travis Royer (Elverson, Pa./Twin Valley) would draw a walk, and pinch runner Kyle Witzberger (McDonald, Pa./Fort Cherry) advanced to second on a passed ball. A Kenny McCracken (Wheaton, Ill./Aurora Christian) walk loaded the bases, and Waugaman scored on a Myers sacrifice fly to make it a 4-1 game. A Corner two-out single would re-load the bases, but the Wolverines were unable to cut further into the deficit.

Grove City made one final push in the top of the seventh. Palmer drew a one-out walk, and Hodges followed with a single. Hodges was thrown out at second on a Waugaman fielder's choice, leaving runners on the corners. Freshman Brandon Gresh (Pittsburgh, Pa./Keystone Oaks) stepped in for a big pinch-hit single to score Palmer and move Waugaman to third, cutting the score to 4-2 with runners on the corners. However, a popup would end the game, giving La Roche the sweep.

Sophomore Mason Stephens (Uniontown, Ohio/Lake) took the loss for the Wolverines, allowing seven hits and four runs while striking out three in five innings. Freshman Ryan Braundmeier (Lititz, Pa./Warwick) allowed just one hit in a scoreless sixth inning on the mound.

Grove City returns to action on Monday when they visit Pitt-Greensburg for a 1 p.m. non-conference doubleheader.

La Roche Box Score (Game One)

La Roche Box Score (Game Two)

Go to Wolverine Baseball