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Baseball Stopped By Slow Start

(Posted March 29, 2007)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. - The Juniata College baseball team simply could not find enough offense to match hang in against the 16th-ranked team in the country as the Eagles were swept in a non-conference doubleheader against Washington & Jefferson College Thursday afternoon in Huntingdon. Juniata (7-8-1) dropped game one 8-1, and then had one costly inning lead to a 4-2 set-back in game two. In game two, Juniata twice rallied back to tie the score after Washington & Jefferson (10-1) had taken the lead, but the Presidents then scored two runs in the top of the fourth to pull in front 4-2. The Eagles put runners on in the fourth, fifth and sixth, but stranded five over those innings as they suffered the loss. The visitors pushed across one run in the first on a sacrifice fly from Shaun Pfeil. Juniata answered with back-to-back doubles from Kevin Small (Wheaton North/Wheaton, Ill.) and Greg Hoffman (Dulaney/Phoenix, Md.) tied the score at one. An RBI groundout put the Presidents in front again in the top of the second, only to have an Anthony Trutt (Indian Valley/Lewistown) sacrifice fly tie the score at two. Washington & Jefferson took the lead for good in the fourth. An error and two wild pitches brought in the first run, and then an RBI double from Nick Fiorilli making the lead 4-2. Juniata\'s Tyler Brown (Southern Huntingdon/Orbisonia) surrendered the two runs in the fourth and was charged with the loss as he allowed two runs, one earned, in two innings of relief. Juniata used four relievers in the game, with three of them keeping the visitors off the scoreboard for the final 3 1-3 innings. Dan Vietmeier got the win for the Presidents as he went six innings, scattering six hits and allowing two runs while fanning four. Ron Mitko pitched a perfect seventh to earn his second save. Six Juniata players had one hit in the game, with Small and Shawn McDonald (Bishop Canevin/Pittsburgh) each scoring a run. Chris Varacallo had a pair of hits and a run scored to pace Washington & Jefferson. The Presidents were in control from the start in game one as they pushed across two runs in each of the first three innings en route to the 8-1 win. The Eagles mustered very little offense off starter Sam Mann as the team was held to one run on five hits. A two-RBI double from Varacallo got the scoring started for the visitors in the top of the first. An RBI single from Mann and an RBI double from Matt Pellis made it 4-0 in favor of the visitors in the second. All four runs came with two outs in the first two innings. An infield groundout and a wild pitch brought home two more runs in the third for the Presidents. Juniata got one run back in the third as Dan Kauffman (Penn Manor/Conestoga) singled to bring home Jordan Reitz (Waynesboro/Waynesboro) who had singled to lead off the inning. That was the only scoring off Mann who struck out eight in earning the complete-game win. Brian Markovich (Northern Cambria/Northern Cambria) was charged with the loss for Juniata as he went two innings and allowed four earned runs on five hits. Dan DeRosa (Kingston/Bloomington, N.Y.) went 2-for-3 to pace the Juniata offensive attack in the game. Reitz was 1-for-3 with a run scored. Pellis, Mitko and Varacallo each had two hits for the visitors. Juniata returns to action Friday with a home conference game against Moravian. ###

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