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May 3, 2016

Wolverines roll to sweep of D'Youville

GROVE CITY, Pa. -- The Grove City College baseball team closed its 2016 regular-season schedule on Tuesday afternoon with a non-conference doubleheader sweep of D'Youville, shutting out the Spartans 5-0 in the opener before rolling to a 19-8 victory in the nightcap.

With the pair of victories, Grove City (25-14) has tied the program record for regular-season wins with 25, matching the 25 regular-season victories recorded by the 2006 Wolverines on their way to a final record of 26-13.

Junior catcher Andy Fritz (Saxonburg, Pa./Knoch) set the single-season record for doubles with his 16th of the year in the Game Two victory and also became the second Wolverine this year to reach the 100-hit plateau for this career. Additionally, amid Grove City's offensive explosion in the nightcap, junior first baseman Matt Waugaman (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny) drove in a program single-game record eight runs.

In the opener, Grove City broke a scoreless tie with a three-run bottom of the third. Sophomore center fielder Tyler Graham (Vandergrift, Pa./Kiski Area) drew a leadoff walk and promptly stole his Presidents' Athletic Conference-leading 20th stolen base of the year. A wild pitch moved Graham to third, and, after junior shortstop David Laylock (Pittsburgh, Pa./Pine-Richland) drew a walk, junior right fielder Nolan Myers (Landisville, Pa./Hempfield) singled to score Graham and move Laylock to third. A Waugaman sacrifice fly scored Laylock, and Myers would later score as freshman outfielder Shane Hammel (Fort Collins, Colo./Fossil Ridge) reached on an RBI-fielder's choice.

Graham scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the fourth to extend Grove City's lead to 4-0, and Waugaman added the Wolverines' final run in the bottom of the sixth by singling, stealing second and coming home to score on an RBI-single by freshman third baseman Micah Burke (Gilbert, Ariz./E.V.A.C.).

Junior Ben Finlan (State College, Pa./State College) improved to 5-0 on the year for the Wolverines, scattering seven hits over five scoreless innings of action while striking out one. Finlan combined with fellow junior Cameron Lawson (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny) for the shutout, as Lawson threw a perfect sixth and seventh, recording one strikeout.

Waugaman, Burke and sophomore second baseman Drew Landis (Red Lion, Pa./Red Lion) each recorded two hits for the Wolverines in the opener while Graham scored two runs. Myers, Waugaman, Burke and Hammel each drove in one run.

In game two, Grove City jumped out to a 1-0 lead on D'Youville in the bottom of the first on a Fritz sacrifice fly to left that scored Laylock. The Wolverines then added three more runs in the third by taking advantage of a pair of Spartan errors. Graham led off the third with an infield single and stole his 21st base of the year while Laylock was hit by a pitch. A sacrifice bunt by freshman left fielder Travis Auth (Medina, Ohio/Medina) advanced both runners, and Graham would come home to score and Laylock move to third as Waugaman reached when his sacrifice fly attempt was dropped. A Fritz single through the left side scored Laylock, and an error later in the inning would allow Waugaman to score to make it a 4-0 game through three.

Grove City broke the game open in the bottom of the fourth. Landis and Graham drew consecutive walks to start the inning, chasing Spartan starter Brian Mattina-Chmiel from the game, and Laylock would greet D'Youville's Steve Vik with an RBI-single to left, scoring Landis. Auth reached on a fielder's choice that saw Laylock forced out at second to give Grove City runners on the corners, and Waugaman would follow by launching his 10th home run of the season over the right-center field fence to push the Wolverine advantage to 8-0. Fritz singled and Burke walked to give Grove City a pair of baserunners, and a pair of wild pitches allowed Fritz to score Grove City's ninth run of the game.

Graham started the Grove City fifth with a bunt single, and a Laylock double to right center gave the Wolverines two men in scoring position for Waugaman, who drove both home with a single through the right side. Waugaman went first to third on a Fritz single and then came home to score on a sacrifice fly by sophomore second baseman Cameron Smail (Apollo, Pa./Kiski Area) to give the Wolverines a 12-0 lead through five.

Those insurance runs would prove to be important, as D'Youville took posted five hits and took advantage of three walks, a hit by pitch, and a pair of Grove City errors to score eight runs on Grove City's bullpen in the top of the sixth, but senior Kenny Saltsman (Salem, Ohio/Salem) entered the game to get two quick outs and end the surge.

The Wolverines would recoup nearly all of those runs with a seven-run bottom of the sixth to push the game back out of reach. Hammel reached on an error after a dropped third strike and moved first to third on a single to right field by junior infielder Brandon Gresh (Pittsburgh, Pa./Keystone Oaks). Graham walked to load the bases, and a wild pitch would advance all three runners, scoring Hammel to make it a 13-8 game. A Laylock single through the right side scored both Gresh and Graham and, after Auth was hit by a pitch, Waugaman doubled to center field to score both Laylock and Auth to extend Grove City's lead to 17-8. Fritz followed with his record-setting 16th double of the year to right center to score Waugaman and, following a smail single that moved Fritz to third, Fritz would come home to score as senior designated hitter Travis Royer (Forest, Va./Twin Valley, Pa.) grounded into a double play, closing the scoring at 19-8.

That would be enough as Saltsman got a double-play ball to erase a D'Youville one-out single in the top of the seventh and seal the victory.

Fritz was a perfect 4 for 4 in the victory with three RBIs and two runs scored while Waugaman was 3 for 3 with four runs scored to go with his eight-RBI outburst -- the most RBIs in one game in the PAC this season. Laylock also was 3 for 3 with three RBIs and four runs scored while Graham went 2 for 2 with four runs.

Freshman John Bini (Staten Island, N.Y./Xaverian) earned the win on the mound to stay perfect at 9-0 on the year, scattering three hits and four walks over five scoreless innings of action while striking out four. Saltsman threw one and two-thirds scoreless innings in relief while allowing two hits and striking out one. Freshman Phil Bell (Poland, Ohio/Heartland Christian) and junior Bradley Warmhold (Downingtown, Pa./Delaware Co. Christian) both saw time in relief.

Grove City will be either the No. 3 or the No. 4 seed in next week's four-team Presidents' Athletic Conference Championship Tournament. Thomas More has clinched the No. 1 seed and will host the tournament from May 12-14 in Crestview Hills, Ky., while Thiel has also clinched a berth. The fourth team -- either Washington and Jefferson or Waynesburg -- will be determined by this weekend's results.

Game 1 Box Score   Game 2 Box Score

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