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May 1, 2015

Landis, Vero homer to lead Wolverines past Bethany

BETHANY, W.Va. -- Freshman left fielder Drew Landis (Red Lion, Pa.) and freshman designated hitter Ryan Vero (Butler, Pa./Butler) each hit the first home runs of their collegiate careers as the Grove City offense came alive in an 11-5 victory at Bethany in the Presidents' Athletic Conference series opener between the two teams on Friday evening.

Landis and sophomore shortstop David Laylock (Pittsburgh, Pa./Pine-Richland) each went 4 for 6 at the plate with Landis adding a pair of doubles to go with his home run. Vero was 3 for 5 while sophomore first baseman Matt Waugaman (Wexford, Pa./North Allegheny) and sophomore right fielder Nolan Myers (Landisville, Pa./Hempfield) each added a pair of hits as a part of Grove City's 18-hit attack.

The Wolverines (13-21, 8-14) took the lead early and would never look back, scoring a pair of runs in the top of the first. Laylock opened the game with a leadoff single and advanced to third on Landis' first double of the day. Waugaman sent both men home with a two-run single to give Grove City a 2-0 lead before being erased as part of a 4-6-3 double play. Sophomore catcher Andy Fritz (Saxonburg, Pa./Knoch) would then lace a two-out double to extend his hitting streak to 21 games before being stranded.

A Grove City throwing error would allow Bethany (9-25, 4-18) to cut the lead in half in the bottom of the second, but Grove Ciy would get that run back in the top of the third as Waugaman hit a one-out double and then came home to score on a Vero RBI-single, making it a 3-1 game.

Bethany would once again close within a single run by scoring in the bottom of the fourth, but the Wolverines would break the game open with five runs in the top of the fifth.

Sophomore third baseman Brandon Gresh (Pittsburgh, Pa./Keystone Oaks) and Myers would hit consecutive one-out singles, and senior second baseman Josh Hodges (Johnson City, N.Y./Johnson City) would reach on an error that scored Gresh and moved Myers to third. Hodges was forced out at second as freshman Tyler Graham (Vandergrift, Pa./Kiski Area) reached on a fielder's choice, and following a pitching change, Laylock hit an RBI-single to score Myers and move Graham to third. Landis would then follow with his first collegiate home run- a three-run shot that gave Grove City a commanding 8-2 advantage.

Vero would lead off the top of the sixth with his first home run as a Wolverine to extend the lead to 9-2, and the Wolverines would add two more in the top of the seventh. Graham and Laylock each singled to lead off the inning, and Landis' second double of the day scored Graham and moved Laylock to third. Laylock would then come home to score on a Waugaman sacrifice fly, pushing Grove City's lead to 11-2.

Bethany would score single runs in each of the final three innings to reach the final margin.

Sophomore right-hander Ben Finlan (State College, Pa./State College) earned the win on the mound, allowing seven hits and just one earned run while striking out four in six innings of work. Junior Ryan Gallagher (Pittsburgh, Pa./Shaler) threw the seventh innings while senior Chris Curran (Lyndhurst, Ohio/Brush) allowed just one hit and an unearned run over the final two innings in his final appearance as a Wolverine.

Along with Fritz’s hit streak, Myers’ fifth-inning single pushed his streak to 16 consecutive games with a hit.

Grove City hosts Bethany in a doubleheader tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. The Wolverines will honor seniors Curran, Hodges, Mason Stephens (Uniontown, Ohio/Lake) and Reese Swatsworth (Hermitage, Pa./Hickory) prior to the games.

Box Score

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