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March 23, 2016

Gallagher, Fritz lead Wolverines past Warner

LAKE WALES, Fla. -- Senior pitcher Ryan Gallagher (Pittsburgh, Pa./Shaler) had one of the top outings of his career, allowing just one earned run over a career-high eight and one-third innings on the mound as the Grove City College baseball team held on for a 4-3 victory at NAIA member Warner on Wednesday evening at Royals Baseball Field.

Junior catcher Andy Fritz (Saxonburg, Pa./Knoch) went 2 for 3 with a double and two RBI to lead the Wolverine attack as Grove City improved to 10-4, the program's best 14-game start since also starting 10-4 during the 2007 season.

Grove City jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first when a leadoff single by junior right fielder Nolan Myers (Landisville, Pa./Hempfield) and a walk by junior first baseman Matt Waugaman (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny) set up a Fritz RBI-double, scoring Myers. Warner (21-14) would take advantage of a pair of Wolverine errors in the bottom of the first to even the score at 1-1 and then took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second on a Cal Sanelli sacrifice fly that scored Tyler Dauphinee.

The Wolverines would even the score in the top of the third on a Fritz RBI-single that scored Myers and then reclaim the lead on an RBI-single from senior DH Travis Royer (Forest, Va./Twin Valley (Pa.)) that brought freshman Shane Hammel (Fort Collins, Colo./Fossil Ridge) home to make it a 3-2 Wolverine advantage.

Grove City used small-ball to get what would prove to be an important insurance run in the top of the fifth. Sophomore shortstop Drew Landis (Red Lion, Pa./Red Lion) led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on a passed ball. Following a Waugaman walk, both runners advanced on a Fritz groundout, and a subsequent groundout by freshman third baseman Micah Burke (Gilbert, Ariz./E.V.A.C.) brought Landis home for a 4-2 Grove City lead.

Another Wolverine error in the bottom of the sixth allowed the Royals to close the gap to 4-3 as Jesse Alker scored on a Dauphinee RBI-groundout, but Gallagher rebounded with a one-hit seventh inning and a 1-2-3 eighth to continue his strong outing and give the Wolverine bullpen a rest.

The Wolverines threatened in the top of the ninth, but freshman left fielder Travis Auth (Medina, Ohio/Medina) was thrown out at the plate on a Myers fielder's choice.

In the bottom half of the inning, Gallagher recorded one out before a Jeff Stabe single ended his day, as coach Matt Royer sent in freshman John Bini (Staten Island, N.Y./Xaverian) to the mound in relief. After Bini recorded the second out, a Randy Rodriguez single would give the Royals runners on the corners, but Bini settled and got Junior Fermin to ground out to Landis to close the Wolverine victory and earn his first collegiate save.

Gallagher scattered seven hits and three runs (one earned) over his eight and one-third innings of work to improve to 2-1 on the year while Bini recorded the final two outs, allowing just the one hit. Gallagher's previous career-long outing was six innings against Saint Vincent on April 17, 2014.

Grove City closes its spring training trip tomorrow, facing Thomas (Maine) in a doubleheader at the Lake Myrtle Sports Complex at 11 a.m.

Box Score

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