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          Spartans go 2-2 against Wolverines, Lords

          George Jones

          Issue date: 4/16/10 Section: Sports
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          The Spartans entered a pair of doubleheaders last weekend looking not only to stay above .500, but to go further above it. After two big wins and two disappointing losses, however, they were still above .500, but barely, at 16-15.

          "It was disappointing to win just two of the four games. We had higher expectations for the weekend," said coach Matt Englander. "Saturday we didn't play too bad, but it wasn't our best, and Sunday wasn't really our best effort. In the first game, we were kind of down and flat, unfortunately. How we played was more good than bad, but it certainly wasn't what we were looking for."

          The first doubleheader was against the Grove City College Wolverines, a team with a very good offense but a suspect pitching staff beyond their two ace starters. That showed in the first game, where a 10-run fifth inning for the Spartans pulled the game open and pushed them to a 15-8 victory. Freshman shortstop Matt Keen hit a grand slam to jump start that inning.

          "Whenever you have big innings, you seem to just be hitting balls where they're not standing. We hit some balls in gaps and took advantage of some walks to hit a grand slam, and hit a lot of extra base hits where we were just getting fastballs up and hitting them into the gap," said Englander. "Big innings like that, when they're done with a lot of hits, [tend] to snowball. It's a lot of fun to be a part of those, as opposed to others where there are just a bunch of errors and walks and things like that."

          The second game was more of a pitching duel through six innings, as Spartan sophomore starter Bradley Potter outdueled Wolverine ace Cory Metcalf. However, Potter and a reliever also combined to give up six runs to the prolific Grove City offense, handing them an 8-4 victory over the Spartans.

          "Brad had pitched a really good game to that point, was maybe a little bit out of gas. I tried to get the last inning out of him, thought he deserved to give it a shot out there," said Englander. "He got the first guy out, but from there we just weren't able to get ahead on the mound, and we were pitching from behind a lot. Grove City has a good-hitting club. We kept them down for most of the day. It's frustrating, but at the college level, you can't expect to get away with some of the mistakes. Hopefully we learned a little bit about what it's like to finish games."
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