Presidents stay perfect in PAC Tournament with 7-4 win over Grove City

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Washington, Pa. -- The Washington & Jefferson baseball team rallied to pick up a 7-4 comeback victory over Grove City in the PAC Championship Tournament on Friday afternoon at Ross Memorial Park. 

The Presidents improved to 31-11 this season after this afternoon's contest. The Wolverines, on the other hand, fall to 27-14. With the win, W&J advances to the title round tomorrow, while Grove City will need another win today to earn the right to face the Red & Black. 

After trailing 3-0 heading into the third inning, the Presidents began to rally in the bottom of the third frame. W&J got on the board with an RBI single from Mullen Socha (Independence, Ohio/St. Ignatius) to plate Dante Dalesandro (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mount Lebanon) from second. 

The Red & Black's deficit fell to 3-2 with an RBI double from James Artale (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Kenston). The next at-bat, Adam Moore (Olean, N.Y./Archbishop Walsh) tied the game at 3-3 with single up the middle to plate Artale from second. 

The Presidents took their first lead of the afternoon the next inning, 5-3. Dalesandro singled to right field to plate Spencer Howell (Oakwood, Ohio/Oakwood). The second run of the frame came from an Artale single to bring home Dalesandro. 

W&J's final runs of the game came off the bat of Moore, who smacked his first career triple to drive home Socha and Dalesandro. Moore's three-bagger capped a 2-for-4 day for the sophomore to go along with three RBIs. 

Artale continued his excellent start to the PAC Tournament with three hits, one double, two RBIs and one run scored. So far this tournament, the senior slugger is 5-for-9 from the plate with two home runs, seven RBIs and three runs scored. 

Howell also finished the afternoon with two hits, in addition to swiping two bases. 

On the pitching mound, Garrett Harstine (New Philadelphia, Ohio/New Philadelphia) started and went 4.1 innings, allowing just three runs, two earned, all coming in the top of the first inning. 

Michael Zito (Nashville, Tenn./Hume-Fogg) earned his first career win by pitching 2.2 innings of relief with one run allowed. The sophomore notched one strikeout. 

Both Mitchell Taufer (Washington, Pa./Bishop Canevin) and Clay Martin (Canonsburg, Pa./Canon-McMillan) both pitched 1.0 innings of scoreless ball to help lock down the win. Martin recorded his seventh save of the season by slamming the door in the top of the ninth. Seven saves are the second-most in single-season W&J history. 

With the victory today, the Presidents advance to the title round of the tournament tomorrow. W&J will play the winner of game five, which is slated to start tonight at 6 p.m., tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. The Red & Black need just one win to claim their 12th PAC title.