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Strong Pitching Slows Baseball

(Posted March 25, 2007)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. - The Juniata College baseball team did not get its conference season off to the kind of start it would have liked as the Eagles dropped both games of its conference-opening doubleheader to Widener University Sunday afternoon. The Eagles suffered a 5-1 loss in game one, and then had a seventh-inning rally come up short as they fell by a 6-5 score in game two. Trailing 6-3 heading into the last of the seventh in game two, Juniata (7-6, 0-2 Commonwealth) pushed across a pair of runs to cut into the deficit. Shawn McDonald (Bishop Canevin/Pittsburgh) delivered a two-RBI single with one out to pull Juniata within one with just one out. Reliever Brian Campbell then fanned the final two hitters to record his second save on the day to secure the win for Widener (11-4, 2-1 Commonwealth). Juniata jumped in front early in game two, scoring a pair of runs off Widener starter Dan Gross in the bottom of the first. An RBI single from Greg Hoffman (Dulaney/Phoenix, Md.) and a sacrifice fly from Dane Ott (South Williamsport/South Williamsport) put Juniata in front 2-0. An unearned run in the second gave the Eagles a comfortable 3-0 margin. That looked like it might be enough for Juniata hurler Paul Dunklebarger (State College/State College) who breezed through the first three innings, allowing just one hit. But the Pride broke through in the fourth, pushing across two runs on a bases loaded walk and then a sacrifice fly to make the score 3-2. Widener then did the big damage in the fifth when Campbell singled to left field to tie the score. With the bases loaded and two outs, an infield throwing error by the Eagles accounted for three unearned runs and gave the Pride a 6-3 lead. Dunklebarger was charged with the loss as he went five innings, allowing six runs, three earned, on six hits while striking out four. After his shaky start, Gross settled in to claim the win as he allowed three runs in four innings. Cambell pitched the final 1 2-3 innings to capture the save. Kevin Small (Wheaton North/Wheaton, Ill.) had a pair of hits and scored three runs in the game for Juniata. Campbell had three hits with an RBI and two runs scored to lead the Widener offense. Juniata\'s bats were not nearly as active in game one as the Blue and Gold were limited to five hits as Widener earned the 5-1 win. Walt Albright earned the win for the visitors as he went five innings and scattered four hits while surrendering one run. Campbell picked up the save in game one by tossing the final two innings. Widener jumped out to a lead with an RBI double from Dan Ferry and a run-scoring single from Tom Connelly in the top of the second. Juniata threatened in the third as the Eagles loaded the bases with one out, but Albright pitched out of the jam without surrendering a run. The Eagles did get one run back in the fourth when Ott doubled home Hoffman to make the score 2-1 in favor of the visitors. Widener answered with three insurance runs in the top of the seventh off Juniata starter Andrew Snyder (Punxsutawney/Punxsutawney). Kevin Fischer drove in a run with a single and Matt Fischer brought in two more with a single to give the Pride the final 5-1 margin. Snyder went 6 2-3 innings allowing five runs on 11 hits while striking out six as he was charged with his first loss of the year. Five Eagles had hits n the game, with Ott collecting the only RBI. Campbell had another three hits in game one, while Matt Fischer, Kevin Fischer and Connelly each had a pair of hits for Widener. Juniata will look for its first conference win when it plays at Susquehanna on Monday. ###

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