Fri May 25, 2012
By Will Swary
DUBLIN- No. 1 in seeding for the tournament and No. 1 in the Prep Baseball Report Division I poll for Ohio, Grove City had little trouble advancing to the regional finals with an 11-1 win over Lewis Center Olentangy in five innings.
The solid foundation for Grove City was laid by starting pitcher, junior Kyle Bennett. Bennett, a lengthy lefty used his 79-80 mph fastball with good movement and a very sharp 64-65 mph curveball to attack the Olentangy lineup early, throwing three scoreless innings to start the game.
The good effort by Bennett would prove to be enough as Grove City could have gotten by with just a solid effort from Bennett, because their offense exploded, starting in the 2nd inning. A three run 2nd was kick started by two singles from Drew Artrip and Dan Cronin respectively. Artrip and Cronin would come home two batters later on a two out double by Tyler Kent. Kent would make it home on a single by Drew Nankivell.
After three runs in the 2nd, Grove City really busted out in the 3rd when Mitchell Stephens reached first on a single before being driven in on an Artrip double. Cronin would walk after that, which was then followed by an error and a three RBI triple by Tyler Cowles. The rally wasn’t done yet as the next batter Kent homered to left for two more RBI. One more run would eventually score in the inning to give them an eight spot and an 11-0 lead after three.
Grove City would assume cruise control after that, ending Bennett’s day after 3 1/3 innings pitched where he allowed just three hits. Olentangy would eventually get a run on an RBI single from Christian Brett, but that would be it and the ten run margin would end the game after five innings 11-1.
Grove City plays again today for a regional crown and a chance to advance to state. The game is 5:00 at Dublin Coffman HS against No. 15 Olentangy Orange.