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March 24, 2015

Grove City earns split at Geneva

BEAVER FALLS, Pa. -- The Grove City College baseball team earned its second-straight Presidents' Athletic Conference road doubleheader split on Tuesday afternoon, falling to Geneva 6-3 in the opener before rolling to a 10-3 victory in the nightcap.

Freshman shortstop Drew Landis (Red Lion, Pa./Red Lion) led the Wolverines (6-8, 2-2 PAC) offensively by going 4-8 with a pair of doubles and three runs scored while sophomore first baseman Matt Waugaman (Wexford, Pa./North Allegheny) was 3-7 with a home run, a double and a team-best four RBI. Junior left fielder Kenny McCracken (Wheaton, Ill./Aurora Christian) and sophomore outfielder Nolan Myers (Landisville, Pa./Hempfield) each posted three hits on the day while McCracken and sophomore third baseman Brandon Gresh (Pittsburgh, Pa./Keystone Oaks) both drove in three runs.

In the opener, neither team could produce any offense over the first three innings, but Grove City got on the scoreboard first with a five-hit top of the fourth. After senior designated hitter Reese Swatsworth (Hermitage, Pa./Hickory) was caught stealing following a leadoff single, Landis doubled to left field and came home to score when McCracken followed with a double to right field, giving the Wolverines a 1-0 lead.

Myers would advance McCracken to third with a bunt single down the third base line. A groundout by sophomore catcher Nick Fryer (Medina, Ohio/Medina) would move Myers over to second, and Grove City's lead would grow to 2-0 when Gresh sent McCracken home with a single to right field.

A Grove City fielding error would allow Geneva to cut Grove City's lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the fourth, but the Wolverines would get that run back in the top of the fifth. Senior second baseman Josh Hodges (Johnson City, N.Y./Johnson City) drilled a stand-up triple to center field to lead off the inning, and Waugaman moved him across the plate with a sacrifice fly. Swatsworth would try to keep the offense going with his second hit of the day but was stranded as the Golden Tornados got out of the inning.

An Andy Santana solo home run brought Geneva back within 3-2 in the bottom of the fifth, but the Wolverine sixth started off promising with a leadoff walk before a Geneva double-play quickly ended the threat.

Geneva would then score four runs in the bottom of the sixth, combining three hits with several Grove City miscues to take a 6-3 lead. Hodges and Swatsworth both drew walks in the top of the seventh, but their teammates couldn't move bring them home as Geneva earned the game one win.

Sophomore left-hander Anthony Marnejon (Columbiana, Ohio/Crestview) took the loss for the Wolverines, allowing eight hits and six runs (two earned) while striking out six over five and two-thirds innings. Junior Ryan Gallagher (Pittsburgh, Pa./Shaler) allowed one hit before recording the final out of the sixth.

In the second game, the Wolverines once again did much of their damage in the fourth inning, stringing together five hits and taking advantage of walks to jump out to a 6-0 lead.

Freshman Tyler Graham (Vandergrift, Pa./Kiski Area) would draw a leadoff walk and, following an out, steal second to get into scoring position. His position wouldn't matter, as Waugman followed with a two-run shot over the right field wall for his team-leading third home run of the season to give the Wolverines a 2-0 lead.

Junior designated hitter Travis Royer (Elverson, Pa./Twin Valley) would also earn a walk and advanced to second on a Landis single. McCracken would follow with a single to right to drive Royer home while a Myers double would send Landis across the plate. Geneva would get a flyout for the second out of the inning, but Gresh would hit a two-run double to right field to score both McCracken and Myers to give Grove City a 6-0 advantage.

Geneva would get two of those runs back behind consecutive RBI extra-base hits from Tyler Damazo and Tyler Pagaduan, but Grove City would answer right back with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth to push the margin back to six at 8-2.

Waugaman got things going with a one-out double to left field and, following the second out of the inning, Landis drove another double to left to trade Waugaman places and make it a 7-2 game. Landis would advance to third on a wild pitch and then come home as McCracken hit Grove City's third double of the inning to left field to increase the lead to 8-2.

Geneva took advantage of a leadoff walk in the bottom of the fifth by stringing together three-straight two-out singles to close the Wolverine advantage to 8-3. Grove City would answer once again, however, by putting up a pair of runs in the top of the sixth.

Sophomore catcher Andy Fritz (Saxonburg, Pa./Knoch) singled to left field to open the inning and advanced to second on a Gresh groundout. Hodges drove him home with an RBI-single to center field to make it a 9-3 game and then moved to second on a wild pitch. Waugaman's third hit of the game, an RBI-single to right, sent Hodges across the plate to make it a 10-3 game. Royer and Landis would add additional singles to load the bases, but Geneva's Tanner Propst would avoid further damage with an inning-ending strikeout.

From there, Grove City's relief pitchers allowed just a single baserunner in both the sixth and seventh innings to secure the victory.

Sophomore Cameron Lawson (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills) earned the win on the mound to improve to 2-0 on the season, allowing three hits and two runs over four innings while throwing a career-high five strikeouts. Gallagher allowed one run on three hits in the fifth inning while senior Chris Curran (Lyndhurst, Ohio/Brush) got a double-play to erase a fielding error and face the minimum in the sixth inning. Sophomore Jimmy Palmer (Pittsburgh, Pa./Chartiers Valley) allowed a leadoff hit in the seventh before recording three quick outs to close the game.

Grove City is scheduled to be back in action on Friday when they visit Thiel for a single nine-inning conference game at 3 p.m.

Game One Box Score            Game Two Box Score

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