W&J Splits Twinbill With Grove City
GROVE CITY, Pa. – Grove City ended the Washington & Jefferson College baseball team’s 10-game conference win streak by a score of 11-9 in game one, but the Presidents responded with an 8-6 win in the second game to earn the split on Monday afternoon.
W&J (27-6, 18-3) has already clinched the Presidents’ Athletic Conference regular-season title and the right to host next week’s PAC Tournament. The Wolverines (6-27, 4-17) ended their eight-game losing skid with the game one victory.
The Presidents sprinted out to a 9-2 lead after three innings in the opener; however, Grove City fought back with nine unanswered runs for the two-run victory.
Seven Presidents recorded hits, including five with multi-hit performances. All of W&J’s 13 hits were singles. Sophomore D.J. Michalski (Canonsburg, Pa./Canon-McMillan) led the team with three base hits. He also scored twice and knocked in a run.
Senior shortstop Aaron Klinec (North Olmsted, Ohio/St. Ignatius) sophomore catcher Ronny Peirish (Wexford, Pa./Pine-Richland) both added a pair of hits and two runs score, while sophomore third baseman Kyle McLain (East Amherst, N.Y./Canisius) and senior left fielder Brian Szabo (Hermitage, Pa./Hickory) both contributed two runs batted in.
Max Vickerman tossed a complete game, as he upped his record to 3-4 this spring. Vickerman was touched up for nine runs (eight earned) on 13 hits while walking five and striking out three. Sophomore right-hander Chris Kosty (Wexford, Pa./Pine-Richland) took the loss in relief after allowing one earned run in 0.2 innings on the mound.
The Presidents took a 3-2 lead into the final inning of game two, but a five-run seventh provided W&J with insurance runs. Michalski produced a bases-loaded single that plated one run and Peirish added two more scores with a base hit two batters later.
W&J would need all of its insurance runs, as the Wolverines rallied for four runs in the bottom of the inning. J.R. Willard knocked in a pair with a base hit to make the score 8-6 and bring the tying run to the plate, but sophomore right-hander Eddie Nogay (Weirton, W. Va./Madonna) retired the next three batters in order to end the threat.
Nogay picked up his third save in relief of sophomore Brian O’Neill (Columbus, Ohio/St. Charles Prep). O’Neill struck out seven in five innings while allowing two earned runs on five hits, as he moved his record to 5-1. Zach Butler was the losing pitcher for the Wolverines, falling to 1-6 on the season.
W&J collected 10 hits during game two and once again all were singles. Eight different W&J starters recorded a base hit, including multi-hit performances from Klinec and McLain. Peirish and sophomore right fielder Josh Stanscia (Export, Pa./Franklin Regional) both knocked in two runs.
Grove City also produced 23 hits during the double dip, including 21 singles. Randen Schleiden collected five hits and three RBI to pace the team.
W&J travels to Frostburg State for a non-conference matchup in Maryland on Tuesday (4:00 pm).