May 22, 2011
WOLVERINES WIN ECAC TITLE!
ASTON, Pa. -- The Grove City College baseball team captured the 2011 Eastern College Athletic Conference Southern Championship Tournament title Sunday by ousting the tournament's top two seeds at Neumann University. After earning a 5-0 win over top-seeded Neumann Sunday morning in the semifinals, the No. 4 Wolverines pulled out a 3-1 win over No. 2 Penn State Behrend Sunday afternoon in the title game. It is Grove City's first-ever ECAC championship in baseball.
The Wolverines received two complete-game pitching performances Sunday en route to the tournament title. Senior Kyle Silk (Akron, Ohio/Cuyahoga Valley Christian) fired a six-hit shutout in the semifinals. He struck out nine in nine innings, recording his third shutout of the season.
Sophomore Zach Butler (Massillon, Ohio/Cuyahoga Valley Christian) then fired a four-hitter in the championship game victory. Grove City starters accounted for all 27 innings in the team's three tournament victories over the weekend.
Freshman third baseman Evan Hoskinson (Uniontown, Ohio/Green) earned tournament Most Valuable Player honors after hitting .636 (7 for 11) with a home run and five runs batted in during the season. Hoskinson had not started a game in his collegiate career prior to the ECAC Tournament.
Against Behrend, Grove forged a 1-1 tie in the top of the third when junior second baseman Brandon Durbin (Zelienople, Pa./Seneca Valley) singled, moved up on a sacrifice and eventually scored on a single by sophomore right fielder Josh Sacks (Columbia, Md./Chapelgate Christian).
The Wolverines (25-16) then took a 2-1 lead in the seventh when sophomore catcher Doug Wells (Staten Island, N.Y./St. Peter's) singled in senior DH Marcus Magister (Allison Park, Pa./Hampton). Grove City pushed across an insurance run in the eighth as Sacks scored on a double by senior left fielder Butch Kriger (Pittsburgh, Pa./Montour).
Butler improved to 5-3 with the victory. He recorded his first complete game of the season. Butler held Behrend hitless for the final 6 2/3 innings of the game.
Hoskinson went 3 for 3 to pace Grove City's eight-hit performance.
Silk (6-3) yielded just six singles in Sunday's opener against Neumann (28-13). Neumann held Grove City scoreless into the fifth but the Wolverines broke through when Sacks and senior center fielder Dan Quirk (Saratoga Springs, N.Y./Schuylerville) scored on an error. Kriger then drove in senior shortstop Scott Moran (Columbia, Md./Chapelgate Christian) with the third run of the inning.
In the sixth, Hoskinson belted a two-out, two-run home run to close the scoring. Hoskinson, Quirk and senior DH Kyle Wolff (Centerville, Ohio/Centerville) all went 2 for 4 in the win. Wolff also doubled.
Grove City's 25 victories this season are the second-most in program history, trailing only the 2006 squad, which went 26-13. Wolverine pitchers had just four complete games in 38 games prior to the ECAC Tournament. Silk allowed just five extra-base hits all season in 67 1/3 innings.
Grove City also qualified for the postseason in 2008 (NCAA) and 2010 (ECAC).
Neumann Box Score Penn State Behrend Box Score
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