Grove City College honored baseball player John Bini and soccer player Krista Heckman as its Omicron Delta Kappa/Mortar Board Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year for the 2018-19 academic year.
Bini and Heckman received their awards at the recent celebration ceremony in Pew Fine Arts Center.
A 3-time 1st-Team All-Presidents’ Athletic Conference honoree, Bini owns several notable pitching records. He ranks first all-time at Grove City with 26 victories, 318 innings pitched and 190 strikeouts. This season, Bini is 6-3 with a 3.33 earned run average. He leads the conference with 83 2/3 innings pitched (11 starts). He is the reigning PAC Pitcher of the Week and has won each of his last 6 starts.
Heckman became the first United Soccer Coaches All-American in Grove City women’s soccer history after she helped lead the Wolverines to the PAC title and the 2nd round of the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament.
Heckman earned PAC Player of the Year, Eastern ECAC Offensive Player of the Year and 1st-Team All-Great Lakes Region following the season. The forward scored 10 goals and led the team with 8 assists. The USCA also honored Heckman as a Scholar All-American. Grove City tied the program record with 17 victories, finishing the season with a 17-4-1 record, including an 8-0 mark against conference opponents.
• Men’s Lacrosse – The Wolverines was scheduled to face Maritime College in the first round of the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament Tuesday at Salisbury (Md.) University in the 36-team field.
Grove City (12-5) earned its first NCAA Tournament berth, defeating archrival Westminster in the PAC Cchampionship Tournament title game, 14-3, at Robert E. Thorn Field.
Grove City (12-5) used a balanced offensive attack and stout defense Saturday in earning its ninth consecutive victory. Four men scored multiple goals in the victory, led by a five-goal outing from junior attack Henry Brannan. Freshman attack Jed Speers and freshman midfielder Brett Gladstone each scored three times while freshman attack Blaise Bishop fired in two goals.
• Women’s Tennis – The Grove City College women’s tennis team will face No. 14 Johns Hopkins in the opening round of the 2019 NCAA Div. III Championship Tournament at University of Mary Washington (Va.) Friday at 1 p.m. The 49-team tournament pairings were announced on Monday.
Grove City (15-2) earned its berth in the national tournament by winning the Presidents’ Athletic Conference title in October with a 5-1 win over Westminster. The Wolverines will be making their seventh all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Grove City also qualified in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2018.
• Baseball – The Grove City College baseball team concluded its home schedule Saturday by sweeping a Presidents’ Athletic Conference doubleheader from visiting Geneva at Jack Behringer Field. Grove City won the opener, 3-1, then picked up a 14-3 victory in Game Two.
Grove City (26-13, 16-7 PAC) has set single-season program records for both regular-season victories as well as conference wins.
All seven of Grove City’s seniors played roles in the doubleheader sweep. In Game One, senior second baseman Bobby Dulay doubled and scored while senior left fielder Travis Auth singled in a run and also scored. Senior third baseman Micah Burke and senior center fielder Shane Hammel also had singled in the win.
In Game Two, Burke helped lead Grove City’s 18-hit attack by going 4 for 6 with a double and three runs batted in. Senior catcher Derek Boyle doubled and drove in two runs while Auth added a double.
Senior pitcher John Bini earned his Grove City-record 27th victory by pitching 5 2/3 innings. He struck out three and allowed three unearned runs. Senior reliever Phil Bell followed by pitching 1 1/3 scoreless innings.
Grove City’s senior class is the winningest in program history as the Wolverines have won 87 games over the last four years. As freshmen, the seven seniors helped Grove City College to a program-record 27 wins and the ECAC Division III title in 2016.
• Tennis — The women’s tennis team lost to Mercyhurst University, 4-1, in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Tournament championship match Friday at the Burt Reese Tennis Courts in Bloomsburg.
While Slippery Rock will not receive the automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament that comes with winning the PSAC Tournament, it is still a strong favorite to earn one of the four at-large berths in the Atlantic Region as SRU has a strong resume from a very successful season and entered the week ranked third in the region.
The loss drops The Rock’s record to 16-8 on the season while Mercyhurst improves to 17-7 after the win.
The Lakers were able to capture two of the three doubles matches to earn the day’s first point before closing out the championship-bout with three singles victories.
The Rock’s top doubles pairing of Viola Lugmayr and Lois Page suffered a rare loss to start the contest as Sangeeta Roopan and Kayla Frost eked out a close 6-4 win. Slippery Rock bounced back though at No. 2 doubles when Lacey Cohen and Olivia Warner downed Ivona Plecevic and Naomi Jaho, 6-3.
Mercyhurst was able to earn the all-important doubles point with a narrow 7-6 (3) victory in the third flight by Hannah Wenzel and Athina Tsagkaraki over Allie Welch and Lauren Fadden.
Slippery Rock quickly evened the match at 1-1 to start singles play when Lois Page beat Plecevic by retirement. Page was winning 5-0 when the retirement occurred.
However, The Rock’s comeback bid ended there as the Lakers closed out the contest with wins from the second, fifth and sixth flights to capture the championship. Roopan edged Lugmayr at second singles 6-2, 6-4 while Jahr got the best of Fadden 7-6 (6), 6-3 from the fifth flight and Wenzel barely out-lasted Welch in the sixth flight 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.
With Mercyhurst having already clinched the team victory, the first and fourth flight matches were halted.
Slippery Rock University women’s tennis standout Viola Lugmayr was named the Champion Scholar at championships. The PSAC Champion Scholar Award is presented to the student-athlete with the highest overall cumulative grade point average. Lugmayr carries a perfect 4.0 GPA as a junior exercise science major.
• Baseball — The team concluded its 2019 season with a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Western Division doubleheader split against California University (Pa.) Sunday at Jack Critchfield Park.
The Vulcans (35-13, 19-9 PSAC West) captured game one with a 9-8 victory in eight innings, but Slippery Rock (15-28, 5-21 PSAC West) answered back with a 4-2 triumph in game two.
Jon Kozarian and Frankie Jezioro both had hits in each game of Sunday’s doubleheader. Kozarian went a combined 3-for-6 with three runs scored, one home run, four RBI and a triple. The home run was his third of the year. Jezioro finished with two hits, a run, an RBI and his team-leading 12th stolen base of 2019.
As a team, The Rock belted three home runs over the two games as Kozarian, Joe Campagna, Colin Cain all launched homers. Campagna’s was his Rock-best 10th of the season while Cain’s long ball was the fifth of his rookie year, the sixth most by a freshman in program history.
Tanner Stanz (3-4) was dominant in his final collegiate start on the mound for The Rock in game two and Kozarian provided SRU with more than enough offense with one swing of his bat to help lead the way to a 4-2 season-ending victory.
Sunday’s games closed the book on the careers of 11 Slippery Rock players. Of the 11, Jezioro and Campagna will both end their careers ranked among SRU’s best in several statistical categories.
Jezioro ranks eighth in program history in stolen bases (46), 10th in games played (173), 10th in games started (169), 10th in home runs (19), 12th in runs scored (130) and 13th in hits (186).
Campagna is tied for third all-time in home runs (28), eighth in RBI (125), 14th in doubles (36), 14th in games started (160) and 16th in hits (166).