April 8, 2016
Grove City outlasts Saint Vincent
LATROBE, Pa. -- The Grove City College baseball team jumped out to a 7-1 lead and recorded a season-high 17 hits to outlast a Saint Vincent comeback attempt as the Wolverines earned a 10-7 victory over the Bearcats in a nine-inning Presidents' Athletic Conference game at Bearcat Ballfield on a cold Friday afternoon.
Freshman left fielder Shane Hammel (Fort Collins, Colo./Fossil Ridge) went 3 for 5 with two runs scored and two RBIs while junior first baseman Matt Waugaman (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny) and junior right fielder Nolan Myers (Landisville, Pa./Hempfield) each added three hits and two runs. Freshman third baseman Micah Burke (Gilbert, Ariz./E.V.A.C.) and sophomore center fielder Tyler Graham (Vandergrift, Pa./Kiski Area) each notched two hits.
Grove City (16-6, 8-1 PAC) batted around in the top of the first to jump out to a 5-0 lead, as Waugaman doubled and Myers, Hammel and Graham all added hits. After Saint Vincent (12-10, 5-4) got one run back in the bottom of the first, the Wolverines added two more in the top of the second. Myers and Waugaman hit consecutive singles to lead off the inning and junior catcher Andy Fritz (Saxonburg, Pa./Knoch) brought Waugaman home with an RBI-single. After a pair of outs, Hammel notched his second RBI of the game with a single that scored Myers to give the Wolverines a 7-1 advantage through two.
The Wolverines would threated in both the top of the fourth and the top of the fifth, notching two hits in each inning, but Saint Vincent escaped both times, and the Bearcats would make it a game with a three-run bottom of the fifth to close within 7-4.
Grove City would answer right back in the top of the sixth with three much-needed insurance runs. After the Bearcats recorded two quick outs, Hammel got Grove City going with a two-out single. Sophomore second baseman Drew Landis (Red Lion, Pa./Red Lion) was hit by a pitch and, after a passed ball advanced both runners, Graham drew a walk to load the bases. A wild pitch then advanced all three runners, scoring Hammel, and junior shortstop David Laylock (Pittsburgh, Pa./Pine Richland) followed with a two-run double to left center to give Grove City a 10-4 lead.
Those runs would prove to be important, as Saint Vincent's Luke Fox led the bottom of the seventh with a triple, sparking another three-run inning to bring the Bearcats within 10-7 through seven. That would be the end of the scoring, however, as junior pitcher Cameron Lawson (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills) didn't allow a hit in the final two innings to seal the victory.
Freshman John Bini (Staten Island, N.Y./Xaverian) stayed a perfect 6-0 on the season despite not having his best outing, allowing 11 hits and seven earned runs over six-plus innings of action while striking out three and walking a pair. Lawson came in for Bini with nobody out in the seventh and allowed just two hits over three scoreless innings of action.
Grove City's 16-6 start continues to be the program's best since the 2006 season, when those Wolverines were also 16-6 through 22 games. Grove City's 8-1 conference start is the best in program history.
The Wolverines will complete the series with Saint Vincent on Wednesday with a 1 p.m. PAC doubleheader at Behringer Field. That doubleheader was originally scheduled for tomorrow, but has been postponed due to the impending weather forecast.
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