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Late Rally Foils Baseball

(Posted April 10, 2007)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. - The Juniata College baseball team dropped both games on Tuesday to conference opponent Messiah College. In game one Messiah had a constant supply of offense to earn an 8-5 victory, while in game two Samuel Watts came up with a solid pitching performance to get Messiah the 4-3 win as Messiah swept the Eagles. With the two losses the Eagles fell to 13-10-1 on the season and 6-4-1 in the conference. Messiah improved to 12-11 on the year and 8-4 in the conference. In game one starting pitcher Jason Enoch (Hempfield/Lancaster) retired the side in the top half of the first inning and the Eagles were able to get him some early support as they put up two runs in the bottom half of the inning. Jordan Reitz (Waynesboro/Waynesboro) stared off the game with a leadoff single and would later steal second with one out. Dan Kauffman (Penn Manor/Conestoga), who went 3-4 in the contest with four RBIs then smacked a two-run home run to give the Eagles an early 2-0 lead. The lead would be short lived as Messiah was able to plate one run in the second and five runs in the next four innings to take a commanding 6-2 advantage. In the bottom of the fifth inning the Eagles would cut into the Messiah lead as Andrew Kriss (John Carroll/Forest Hill, Md.) drew a walk to get the inning going. Kriss then advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Anthony Trutt (Indian Valley) to cut the lead to 6-3. Kaufmann then picked up his third RBI of the game by singling to right field to plate Trutt and make the score 6-4 at the end of five innings. Messiah, however, countered in the top half of the sixth inning by adding two runs of its own. Kurt Heim then came in to relieve Jeremy Stoltzfus to get his first of two saves on the day. Stoltzfus had a solid outing going 4 2-3 innings allowing just four runs on five hits while striking out five. Trutt went 2-3 in game one with an RBI and a run scored, while Reitz also went 2-3 and scored a run. Enoch went 4 1-3 innings allowing six runs on eight hits. In game two, Juniata led for most of the contest but the Falcons scored a pair of runs in the top of the seventh to claim the win. An infield single and an error, followed by a double steal put runners at second and third with one out. Jordan Zimmerman then singled to center to bring home the winning run. Messiah jumped out to the early lead in the game as s Craig Mease groundout to the right side of the infield scored Jonathon Ebersole to put Messiah up 1-0 in the top of the first. The Eagles would respond in the bottom half of the second inning when Kriss doubled to left center. Shawn McDonald (Bishop Canevin/Pittsburg) then walked to put runners at first and second with one out. Messiah pitcher Samuel Watts then balked to move the runners up 90 feet and walked Trutt to load the bases. Reitz then hit a deep fly to center field to plate Kriss. The throw into third base got by the Messiah third basemen which allowed McDonald to score and put the Eagles in front 2-1. The score would remain that way until the top of the fourth inning when Messiah tied the score. Benjamin Kirk led off the inning by being walked by Juniata starter Tyler Clifford (Homer-Center/Homer City). After two deep fly outs which enabled Kirk to tag up and advance to second Ben Snyder singled through the left side to nod the score back up at 2-2. The Eagles answered in the bottom half of the inning when Kriss led off with a single. McDonald followed with a double into the left field corner to score Kriss and put the Eagles back on top 3-2. Clifford had a solid outing going 5 2-3 innings allowing just two runs on four hits, while striking out six. Paul Dunklebarger (State College/State College) retired one batter in the sixth and Jeff Hayes (Indian Valley/Lewistown) pitched the seventh and was charged with the loss. Juniata returns to action on Friday with another as the Eagles host Commonwealth foe Elizabethtown single game. ###

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