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Eagles Clinch Postseason Berth With Comeback Win

(Posted April 24, 2006)

Troy Beaver went 5-for-6 and knocked in the winning run as Juniata rallied to win the first game of its conference doubleheader.

Juniata 4, Lebanon Valley 3 (10 innings)
Juniata 6, Lebanon Valley 0

ANNVILLE, Pa. ? The Juniata College baseball clinched a third-consecutive berth in the Commonwealth Conference postseason by claiming a 4-3 comeback win in 10 innings in game one of its conference doubleheader against Lebanon Valley on Monday, and then added a 6-0 victory in game two of the twin-bill to earn the sweep. The Eagles are now 24-9-1 on the season and 14-3-1 in the Commonwealth. Lebanon Valley dropped to 11-21 on the season and 8-10 in conference play.

Juniata rallied for the victory in game one, and then got a dominant pitching performance from senior Cody Zong (Lewistown/McVeytown) to win game two.

Trailing 1-0 in the top of the seventh in game one the Eagles twice were down to their last strike before a triple from David Saintz (Titusville/Titusville) scored Troy Beaver (Bellwood-Antis/Bellwood) and an RBI singl from Walt Goedkoop (Manheim Township/Lancaster) gave Juniata 2-1 lead. Lebanon Valley answered with a run off Juniata starter Jason Enoch (Hempfield/Landisville) in the bottom of the inning as John Mentzer delivered an RBI single to send the game into extra frames.

The team?s then traded runs in the ninth with Juniata scoring one on a bases-loaded walk to Will Russell (Tyrone/Tyrone) in the top and Lebanon Valley tying it up again in the bottom of the inning when Richie Schwartz singled through the left side. Then in the 10th, Beaver delivered pinch-runner Shawn McDonald (Bishop Canevin/Gibsonia) with an RBI single that gave Juniata a 4-3 edge. Lebanon Valley got the tying run to second base off Juniata reliever Jeff Hayes (Indian Valley/Lewistown) in the bottom of the inning, but pinch-runner Brandon Stoothoff was thrown out at third by McDonald on a ball that bounced away from the catcher.

Enoch went nine innings for Juniata to earn the victory, as he allowed just three runs, two earned, on seven hits while striking out 10. Lebanon Valley starter Taylor Sgrignoli was nearly as sharp as he went 6 2-3 innings allowing two runs on eight hits while fanning five. Nick Faria was charged with the loss in relief for the Flying Dutchmen.

Beaver was 5-for-6 for Juniata in the game adding a run scored and an RBI. Steven Wilk (Blaisrville/Hollidaysburg) also had two hits for Juniata, while Saintz drove in a run and scored twice. Dan Kelly and Schwartz each had two hits for the home team.

Game two belonged to Zong as the senior scattered four hits over seven innings to improve to 6-3 on the year. He fanned five hitters while walking just two. Only three Lebanon Valley batters reached scoring position in the game.

The Eagles provided him with all the support he needed as they pushed home four runs over the first two innings. Dan Kauffman (Penn Manor/Conestoga) and Jesse Leonard (Shade/Johnstown) each brought in a run with RBI singles in the first and Saintz drove in two more with a single in the second. Juniata capped the scoring when Kauffman launched his conference-leading 12th home run of the season in the sixth inning, scoring Wilk and giving Juniata a 6-0 lead.

Ryan Dalton was charged with the loss for Lebanon Valley as he allowed all six runs over six innings. He fanned four in the game.

Saints, Kauffman, Russell and Darren Hake (Red Lion/Red Lion) all had two hits for Juniata. Kauffman drove in three runs and scored twice, while Saintz had two RBI and a run scored. Four Flying Dutchmen finished with one hit.

Juniata is back in action Wednesday with a single, nine-inning non-conference game against Penn State-Altoona.

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Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.