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April 27, 2016

Offense explodes for 22 runs in rout of Bethany

GROVE CITY, Pa. -- Junior first baseman Matt Waugaman (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny) homered twice for the second time this season to lead the Grove City College baseball team to its highest offensive output in six years as the Wolverines defeated Bethany 22-7 in Presidents' Athletic Conference action on Wednesday afternoon at R. Jack Behringer Field.

Grove City's 22 runs were the most for the program since April 7, 2010, when Grove City beat Saint Vincent at home by an identical 22-7 score. It was also the run total by one team in a PAC game since May 7, 2010, when Washington and Jefferson earned a 22-18 home victory over Waynesburg.

Waugaman was 2 for 4 on the day overall with four RBIs and three runs scored while freshman third baseman Micah Burke (Gilbert, Ariz./E.V.A.C.) posted his second four-hit outing of the year while scoring twice and driving in a pair. Junior shortstop David Laylock (Pittsburgh, Pa./Pine Richland) was 3 for 4 with a triple, three RBIs and three runs while junior catcher Andy Fritz (Saxonburg, Pa./Knoch) went 3 for 5 with four RBIs, three runs, and his team-leading 15th double of the season -- tying the program single-season doubles record in the process.

Senior designated hitter Travis Royer (Forest, Va./Twin Valley, Pa.) was 2 for 4 with a pair of doubles, four RBIs and two runs while sophomore center fielder Tyler Graham (Vandergrift, Pa./Kiski Area) was 2 for 4 with a pair of stolen bases and five runs -- the most by a Wolverine in one game since Scott Moran scored five times in a Grove City 12-10 home win over Lake Erie on April 18, 2008.

Junior right fielder Nolan Myers (Landisville, Pa./Hempfield) drove in three runs while sophomore second baseman Cameron Smail (Apollo, Pa./Kiski Area) scored three times.

Bethany jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first, scoring a pair on a Neil Woods two-run home run to left and adding two more unearned following a Grove City error. The Wolverines cut the Bison lead in half in the bottom of the inning on a Fritz RBI-double and a Burke RBI-single to make it a 4-2 game through one and drew within a single run in the bottom of the second when a Laylock triple scored Graham to close the gap to 4-3 through two.

The Bison would push their lead back to two in the top of the third, taking advantage of a pair of Grove City errors to make it a 5-3 game, but the Wolverines followed by sending 12 men to the plate as part of a seven-run bottom half to take the lead. Waugaman opened the inning with a solo home run to right field -- his eighth of the year -- to bring the Wolverines back within one, and, following singles by Fritz and Burke, Royer hit a two-run double to the center field fence to give Grove City its first lead at 6-5. A Smail walk and a Graham bloop single loaded the bases, and Laylock drew an RBI-walk to give the Wolverines a 7-5 lead. Myers followed with a two-run single to center, scoring both Graham and Smail, and, following a Waugaman walk, Fritz reached on a fielder's choice that scored Laylock to give Grove City a 10-5 advantage through three.

The Wolverines batted around and plated seven more runs in the bottom of the fourth to put the game out of reach. Royer and Smail both reached on walks, and Graham reached on an error to load the bases. Royer scored on a Laylock sacrifice fly to center for Grove City's 11th run, and Myers drew a walk to reload the bases. Smail scored and Graham advanced to third on a passed ball on the fourth ball of Myers' at-bat, and Waugaman was walked to load the bases once more. Fritz drove in two with a single to center, and a Burke RBI single brought Waugaman across the plate. Royer followed with his second two-run double of the game -- this one to the left center fence -- to give the Wolverines a 17-5 lead through four.

Grove City tacked on two more in the bottom of the fifth on a Graham RBI-triple and a Myers sacrifice fly to make it a 19-5 game, and, after Bethany scored a pair of unearned runs on two Wolverine errors in the top of the seventh, Waugaman closed the scoring for the game with a three-run home run to right center -- his ninth of the year. Waugaman's nine home runs lead the PAC and give him 15 for his career, moving him into sole possession of third place on Grove City's all-time list.

Junior Ben Finlan (State College, Pa./State College) earned the win on the mound for Grove City to improve to 4-0 on the year, allowing just four hits and a walk while striking out a pair over three scoreless innings of action. Junior Cameron Lawson (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills) started and allowed two hits and two earned runs over two and a third innings while striking out two and walking two, and senior Ryan Gallagher (Pittsburgh, Pa./Shaler) got the final two outs of the third inning. Junior Brad Warmhold (Downingtown, Pa./Delaware County Christian) allowed just three hits and two unearned runs in two innings of work while Burke threw a scoreless ninth, allowing a pair of hits and striking out one.

Grove City is now 23-11 overall and 15-6 in the PAC. Grove City's 15 conference wins match the most in program history; the 2011 Wolverines finished their conference slate 15-6.

The Wolverines close their regular-season conference schedule this weekend with a three-game series against Thiel. Grove City will vist the Tomcats on Friday for a single, nine inning game at 4 p.m. before hosting a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday. Saturday will be Senior Day for the Wolverines, who will honor Gallagher, Royer and Kenny Saltsman (Salem, Ohio/Salem).

Box Score

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