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April 12, 2014

Wolverines earn split at Westminster

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. -- The Grove City College baseball team used a five-run top of the seventh to rally for a come-from-behind 7-3 game two victory and earn a doubleheader split at Westminster on Saturday afternoon in Presidents' Athletic Conference action.

The Wolverines (6-16, 4-9 PAC) fell 5-3 in game one.

In a game that saw just one hit through the first three innings, it was Grove City who scored first in game one, as junior outfielder Josh Hodges (Johnson City, N.Y./Johnson City) singled to center field and then advanced all the way to third on a bunt single by freshman first baseman Matt Waugaman (Wexford, Pa./North Allegheny). That would set up Hodges to score on a sacrifice fly by freshman Cameron Lawson (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills), giving the Wolverines a 1-0 lead.

That lead would hold until the bottom of the fifth, when Westminster (7-15, 4-6) scored two runs on a Jake Haubrich double to left field and two more on a pair of sacrifice flies to take a 4-1 lead.

Grove City cut the lead to 4-2 in the top of the sixth. Freshman Jimmy Palmer (Pittsburgh, Pa./Chartiers Valley) reached on an error to lead off the inning and advanced to second on a groundout by freshman shortstop David Laylock (Pittsburgh, Pa./Pine-Richland). Hodges would single to the pitcher, moving Palmer to third and putting him in position to score on a Waugaman single to right field.

Westminster would extend its lead back to three runs in the bottom of the sixth on a Wolverine error.

Grove City would have one last effort in the top of the seventh. Freshman Nolan Myers (Landisville, Pa./Hempfield) would draw a leadoff walk and then advance to second on a wild pitch. Senior second baseman John Rende (West Homestead, Pa./Central Catholic) would also draw a walk, and both runners would advance on a single to center field by freshman Nick Fryer (Medina, Ohio/Medina), loading the bases.

Sophomore Travis Royer (Elverson, Pa./Twin Valley) would bring one run home with a pinch-hit sacrifice fly, scoring Myers. Laylock would draw a walk to load the bases with one out, but the Titans would get a double play to end the game.

Sophomore Ryan Gallagher (Pittsburgh, Pa./Shaler) took the loss for the Wolverines, allowing six hits and five runs (four earned) over five and two-thirds innings. Freshman Anthony Marnejon (Columbiana, Ohio/Crestview) would pitch the final out in relief.

Westminster would jump out to an early 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first in game two and would hold that lead into the fifth inning.

Myers would lead off the top of the fifth with a single to center field. Rende walked and freshman Brandon Gresh (Pittsburgh, Pa./Keystone Oaks) was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Laylock, who hit an RBI-sacrifice fly to right field to score Myers and close the gap to 3-1.

The Wolverines would add another run in the top of the sixth. Royer drew a one-out, pinch-hit walk and advanced to second on a single to left by senior third baseman Matt Corner (Slippery Rock, Pa./Slippery Rock). Freshman Luke Vorce (Irwin, Pa./Norwin) would pinch run for Royer and would score his first collegiate run when Rende hit an RBI-single to right field, making it a 3-2 game.

In the top of the seventh, Fryer was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. Sophomore Drew Chorey (Grand Island, N.Y./Grand Island) pinch ran for Fryer, advancing to second on a Laylock infield single. Hodges would load the bases with a bunt single, and Waugaman would draw an RBI-walk to score Chorey and tie the game.

Following a Vorce strikeout, Corner gave Grove City the lead at 4-3 with an RBI-sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Laylock. Myers drew a two-out walk to reload the bases, and a Rende single would score both Hodges and Waugaman before an error allowed Myers to cross the plate for a 7-3 Wolverine advantage.

Freshman pitcher Ben Finlan (State College, Pa./State College) then returned to the mound to record three quick outs and wrap up the complete-game victory.

Finlan improved to 2-3 on the mound, allowing just two hits over the final six innings after the rocky first inning.

Grove City (6-16, 4-9 PAC) will host Westminster on Monday at 4 p.m. to complete the series.

Game One Box     Game Two Box

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