Thiel clinches playoff spot with doubleheader sweep over Grove City

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GROVE CITY, Pa. – The Thiel College baseball team downed the Grove City Wolverines in a Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) doubleheader to sweep the season series on Saturday.

After Thiel fell behind in the first inning, they came back to take the first game 7-5.

Grove City scored three runs in the first inning. Thiel responded by scoring seven unanswered runs. Thiel opened their scoring in the top of the second inning when Trent Mosley scored from third on a RBI groundout to third base with the bases loaded by Nick Grice.

Four Thiel runners crossed home in the top of the third inning. Bryan Mitchell led off the inning with a walk. Then, Mitchell stole second and advanced to third on an error by the Grove City catcher. Dan Koller then singled Mitchell home from third base. A batter later, Trent Smith smacked a two-run home run to give Thiel the 4-3 advantage. Mosley scored later in the third inning off of an error by the shortstop.

Thiel added two more runs in the top of the fourth inning when an error by the right fielder allowed Mitchell to score with one out. Mosley then singled to plate Smith.

Grove City tried to rally in the bottom of the seventh inning but Tanner Teconchuk preserved the Thiel victory in game one.

Jaden Nozicka pitched six quality innings for Thiel to secure his fourth win of the season. Nozicka struck out five and only allowed three earned runs.

Unlike the first two games of the series, Thiel struck first in game two to propel them to the 7-4 victory over Grove City.

Mosley put Thiel on the board in the top of the first inning when he knocked a two-out single to bring Koller home from second.

Thiel did their damage again in the second inning with two outs. Daniel Patrice plated Brian Genco from second base on a single. With the bases loaded, Smith was walked to allow Patrice to score from third base. During the next at-bat, a wild pitch got away from the Grove City catcher to bring Mitchell home.

Smith blasted his second two-run dinger in the top of the fourth inning to give Thiel the six-run advantage. After he singled to start the fifth inning, Grice scored on a wild pitch with two outs to push Thiel's lead to 7-0 in the fifth inning.

Grove City ended the Thiel shutout in the bottom half of the fifth inning by scoring four runs but Thiel held on to seal the win.

Nick Bucci worked five innings for Thiel in the second game, only allowing four hits and four runs (one earned) while striking out three. Kevin Forrester pitched two innings of scoreless relief to pick up the save.

With the series sweep over Grove City, Thiel clinched a spot in the 2016 PAC Championship Tournament.

Thiel (27-10, 16-5 PAC) will wrap up the regular season next weekend when they take on the Bethany Bison in a three-game series. The first game is scheduled for Friday, May 6 at 4 p.m. at Bethany.