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March 5, 2016

Grove City splits with Berea for series win

BEREA, Ky. -- The Grove City College baseball team split a pair of games with Berea College on Saturday afternoon but still left Kentucky with a 2-1 record, winning the opener 8-3 and dropping the nightcap 9-2 in non-conference action.

In the opener, Grove City (2-1) scored four runs in the top of the first and never looked back on their way to the 8-3 win. Junior designated hitter Nolan Myers (Landisville, Pa./Hempfield) drew a one-out walk to start the inning and moved to third on a single by junior first baseman Matt Waugaman (Wexford, Pa./North Allegheny). Junior catcher Andy Fritz (Saxonburg, Pa./Knoch) then stepped to the plate and drilled a double to deep right field, scoring both runners to give the Wolverines a 2-0 lead.

Freshman right fielder Shane Hammel (Fort Collins, Colo./Fossil Ridge) kept the inning going with an infield single to move Fritz to third, and junior second baseman Brandon Gresh (Pittsburgh, Pa./Keystone Oaks) brought him home with a sacrifice bunt to extend the Wolverine advantage to 3-0.

Freshman third baseman Micah Burke followed by collecting his first collegiate RBI, lining a single to left field to score Hammel and give Grove City a 4-0 lead through half an inning.

A walk, a hit batter and a wild pitch allowed Berea (1-5) to get one of those runs back on an Evan Hackney sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first to make it a 4-1 game, and that score would remain until the top of the third when the Wolverines added two more runs.

Fritz drew a leadoff walk and Grove City loaded the bases on singles by Hammel and Burke. Freshman Bobby Dulay (Youngstown, Ohio/Ursuline) reached on an error, allowing Fritz to score, and sophomore center fielder Tyler Graham (Vandergrift, Pa./Kiski Area) then reached on a fielder's choice as Hammel scored to push Grove City's lead to 6-1.

Hackney homered in the bottom of the third to bring the Mountaineers within 6-2, but Grove City got that run back in the top of the fifth when Burke doubled Hammel home to make it 7-2.

Grove City added another insurance run in the top of the sixth when Myers scored on a passed ball.

Sophomore Drew Landis (Red Lion, Pa./Red Lion) earned his first collegiate victory on the mound for Grove City, allowing five hits and two runs while striking out six over five innings. Senior Kenny Saltsman (Salem, Ohio/Salem) allowed just one hit in a scoreless sixth inning while freshman Phil Bell (Poland, Ohio/Heartland Christian) threw the seventh inning.

Burke went 3 for 4 in the opener with a pair of RBIs while Hammel was also 3 for 4 and Waugaman added a pair of hits. Myers also extended his hit streak to 20 games.

In the nightcap, it was Berea who jumped out to a 3-0 first-inning lead, as a pair of walks, a pair of passed balls and a Wolverine error all contributed to the Mountaineers' early runs.

Grove City would cut the lead to 3-1 in the top of the third when Burke reached on an error and later scored on a Dulay groundout, but Berea answered with four more runs in the bottom of the third to take a commanding 7-1 lead and hold on for the victory.

Fritz, Waugaman, Landis and freshman Travis Auth (Medina, Ohio/Medina) each recorded a hit for the Wolverines in the nightcap. Senior Ryan Gallagher (Pittsburgh, Pa./Shaler) took the loss on the mound, allowing seven runs (six earned) on six hits over three and a third innings. Junior Ben Finlan (State College, Pa./State College) threw two and two thirds innings in relief, allowing just one hit and two unearned runs while striking out three and walking three.

Grove City returns to action next Saturday, opening their 2016 Presidents' Athletic Conference schedule with a doubleheader at Washington & Jefferson at 1 p.m.

Game One Box Score       Game Two Box Score

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