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April 13, 2016

Hammel homer powers Wolverines to split with Bearcats

GROVE CITY, Pa. -- Freshman left fielder Shane Hammel (Fort Collins, Colo./Fossil Ridge) drilled a two-run home run over left field fence in the top of the sixth to break a 4-4 tie and lift the Grove City College baseball team to an 8-4 Game Two victory and a doubleheader split with Saint Vincent in Presidents' Athletic Conference action on Wednesday afternoon at R. Jack Behringer Field. The Wolverines (17-7, 9-2 PAC) dropped the opener 12-0.

The victory is Grove City's first over Saint Vincent (13-12, 6-6) at home since May 5, 2012, when the Wolverines earned a 7-3 win in Game One of a PAC doubleheader. It also gives the Wolverines the season series over the Bearcats, as Grove City downed Saint Vincent 10-7 on Friday in Latrobe.

Junior first baseman Matt Waugaman (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny) also homered in the Game Two win while junior catcher Andy Fritz (Saxonburg, Pa./Knoch) singled, doubled and drove in a run. Junior right fielder Nolan Myers (Landisville, Pa./Hempfield) was 1 of 2 with two RBIs while junior shortstop David Laylock (Pittsburgh, Pa./Pine Richland) and sophomore center fielder Tyler Graham (Vandergrift, Pa./Kiski Area) each scored twice.

The Wolverines jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Myers singled to right center and later came home to score on a Bearcat throwing error. That lead grew to 2-0 in the bottom of the fourth when Waugaman hit a leadoff home run well over the right field fence. The round-tripper was Waugaman's sixth of the season, matching his conference-leading mark from last year and moving him into a tie for fifth in the Grove City career annals with 12.

Saint Vincent used four singles, a pair of walks, a balk and a wild pitch to score four runs in the top of the fifth and take a 4-2 lead, but Grove City answered back in the bottom half, scoring a pair on a Myers sacrifice fly and a Fritz double to left to even the score at 4-4 through five.

Freshman John Bini (Staten Island, N.Y./Xaverian) threw a 1-2-3 top of the sixth, and Grove City would go back on top in the bottom of the inning. Senior designated hitter Travis Royer (Forest, Va./Twin Valley, Pa.) drew a leadoff walk, and Hammel followed with the homer to left -- his second of the season -- to give the Wolverines a 6-4 lead. Grove City would then take advantage of three more Saint Vincent errors to add two more runs and carry an 8-4 advantage into the final frame.

That would be enough, as Bini once again retired the side in order to earn his conference-leading seventh win of the season. The right-hander scattered seven hits and four runs over seven innings of action while striking out a pair and walking four to remain unbeaten.

In the opener, Saint Vincent scored twice in the top of the second and never looked back as the Wolverines were shutout for just the second time this season. Grove City's three hits were also their second-fewest in 2016.

Graham, Waugaman and freshman third baseman (Gilbert, Ariz./E.V.A.C.) each recorded a hit for the Wolverines. Micah Burke Landis started and took the loss for Grove City, allowing 11 hits and six runs in five innings of action, while senior Kenny Saltsman (Salem, Ohio/Salem) and junior Ben Finlan (State College, Pa./State College) both saw action in relief.

Grove City returns to action this weekend with an important three-game conference series against Waynesburg. The Wolverines visit the Jackets on Friday for a single nine-inning game at 3 p.m. before hosting a doubleheader on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Game One Box Score   Game Two Box Score

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