PBR Spotlight Game: No. 1 Grove City returns to Final Four with win over No. 15 Olentangy Orange

By Will Swary

DUBLIN-After a slow start where they fell behind 2-0, No. 1 Grove City reestablished themselves to score seven runs in their final three at bats to win 7-4 over No. 15 Olentangy Orange and advance to the Division 1 state tournament next weekend.

Grove City starting pitcher Mitchell Stephens found some trouble early in the 1st inning when a leadoff triple by Luke Wolford was followed by a one out double from Brady Harris that scored Wolford. Harris would eventually come in on a single by a Brai Beckel for 2-0 score after one inning.

Olentangy Orange starting pitcher and Dayton commitment Luke Wolford did a good job of limiting the powerful Grove City lineup early. Wolford worked three scoreless innings to start the game, before finally giving up a run in the 4th.

In the 4th inning with the score still 2-0 in favor of Orange, Grove City finally broke through.  A one out single by Drew Artrip and then a double by Dan Cronin allowed senior Nick Davis to hit a sacrifice fly to center for Grove City’s first run of the ballgame.

Grove City would add more in the 5th with the score still 2-1. A leadoff single for Tyler Kent was followed by a bunt hit from Jimmy Gravett to put two on. Another single by the next hitter Drew Nankivell plated Kent and with one out Mitchell Stephens hit an infield single that scored Gravett.  Nankivell would eventually come home on a fielder’s choice making the score 4-2 after five innings.

Another three spot was added in the 6th when a two out walk to Kent was followed by an overthrow on a stolen base attempt allowing Kent to score the next play after an error by the third baseman. A two out single by Stephens would score two more, making Grove City’s advantage 7-2.

Orange would add a run in the bottom half of the 6th and one more in the 7th, but the rally would fall short. After a rough first inning, Grove City starter Mitchell Stephen really settled down going 6 and 2/3 innings for the win.

No. 1 Grove City now advances to the state tournament Thursday at Huntington Park in Columbus. Their game will be at 7:00pm against the No.2 team in Division I Cincinnati Moeller.