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March 30, 2016

Waugaman powers Wolverines past W&J

GROVE CITY, Pa. -- Junior first baseman Matt Waugaman (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny) drove in two runs on a pair of extra-base hits and the Grove City College baseball team's offense came alive on the whole with 13 hits as the Wolverines defeated Washington and Jefferson 5-2 in a Presidents' Athletic Conference nine-inning game on Wednesday afternoon at R. Jack Behringer Field.

The victory gives Grove City (12-5, 4-1 PAC) its first season-series victory over the Presidents (5-6, 1-2) since 2008. The Wolverines split with the Presidents (W 5-1, L 4-0) in Washington on March 11.

Junior shortstop David Laylock (Mars, Pa./Pine Richland), junior catcher Andy Fritz (Saxonburg, Pa./Knoch) and freshman left fielder Shane Hammel (Fort Collins, Colo./Fossil Ridge) each tallied two hits for the Wolverine attack while senior designated hitter Travis Royer (Forest, Va./Twin Valley (Pa.)) drove in a pair of runs. Senior Ryan Gallagher (Pittsburgh, Pa./Shaler) started and improved to 3-1 on the mound with a strong outing while freshman John Bini (Staten Island, N.Y./Xaverian) notched his second save.

Both teams started quietly, but Grove City got on the board in the bottom of the third inning when Laylock hit a two-out double to deep center field and Waugaman followed with a double to right that was just shy of clearing the fence to give the Wolverines a 1-0 lead.

The Wolverines added to that lead in the bottom of the sixth, as Waugaman led off the inning with a first-pitch no-doubter that sailed well over the right field fence for his third home run of the season to give Grove City a 2-0 advantage. Fritz followed with a double to left center to chase W&J starter Bryce Schnatterly from the game, and he would later come home to score on a Hammel RBI-single to center for a 3-0 Wolverine lead through six.

Those runs would prove to be important, as the Presidents' answered in the top of the seventh with a Ryan Sciullo one-out, two-run home run to left, but Gallagher composed himself to get the final two outs and keep the Wolverines on top 3-2.

Grove City took advantage of a W&J error in the bottom of the seventh to get those two runs back. Laylock reached on a fielding error to lead off the inning and, after a pair of outs, advanced to second on a single through the right side by freshman Micah Burke (Gilbert, Ariz./E.V.A.C.). Royer then followed with a double to deep center that scored both runners, giving the Wolverines a 5-2 lead.

Bini came in for Gallagher in the top of the eighth and quickly found himself in a bases-loaded jam with only one out. Bini was able to come up with the groundball that he needed, forcing PAC-leading hitter Nick Vento to ground into a 6-4-3 double-play to end the inning. After hitting the leadoff batter in the top of the ninth, Bini made short work of the Presidents, getting the final two of his three outs by strikeout to end the game.

Gallagher threw seven strong innings on the mound for Grove City, allowing just six hits, two runs and no walks while striking out three. Bini allowed one hit and three walks while striking out a pair in two scoreless innings.

At 12-5 overall, Grove City is off to its best start in 10 years. The Wolverines are scheduled to visit nearby rival Westminster in a nine-inning PAC game on Friday at 4 p.m.

Box Score

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