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Conference Leaders Down Baseball

(Posted April 13, 2007)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. - The Juniata College baseball team was unable to overcome three big innings from Elizabethtown College as the Eagles dropped a 15-6 decision to the conference-leading Blue Jays Friday afternoon in Huntingdon. Juniata (13-11-1, 6-5-1 Commonwealth) knocked out 12 hits and pulled within a run after the Blue Jays got out to a big lead, but the Eagles could not hang in after a four run sixth inning as the visitors put the game away. Jared Morris went 4-for-5 with three runs scored and an RBI for Elizabethtown (16-9, 10-3 Commonwealth), which knocked out 18 hits and scored four or more runs in three innings in the game. The Blue Jays got started quickly by scoring five runs in the top of the second. Jared Auman had an RBI single in the frame, and Juniata starter Paul Dunklebarger (State College/State College) issued two walks and hit a batter in the frame. A key Juniata error also led to one unearned run in the frame. After an RBI single from Dean Whetham extended Elizabethtown\'s lead to 6-0 in the top of the fourth, Juniata rallied with four runs in the bottom of the inning. Kevin Small (Wheaton North/Wheaton, Ill.) started the scoring with an RBI single, and Dane Ott (South Williamsport/South Williamsport) and Andrew Kriss (John Carroll/Forest Hill, Md.) followed with RBI singles to cut the deficit to 6-4. Elizabethtown got another run back in the fifth on a Rodney Francis RBI single, but the Eagles then pulled within a run with a two-run bottom of the fifth. Dan Kauffman (Penn Manor/Conestoga) delivered an RBI double and Ott followed with a sacrifice fly to make the score 7-6 in favor of the visitors. The Blue Jays then got the offense they needed with a four-run sixth. Morris knocked in the first run with an RBI single. Following an RBI groundout from Adam Sheibley, Matt Vinagro knocked in a pair of runs with a single to extend the lead. Elizabethtown capped the scoring by plating four runs in the ninth with a two-run home run from Auman serving as the big blow. Dunklebarger was charged with the loss in the game as he allowed seven runs, five earned, over five innings. He struck out five in the game. Juniata followed with three relievers who surrendered eight runs on 10 hits in four innings of work. Tyler Hoffman went eight innings to claim the win for Elizabethtown as he went eight innings allowing six runs on nine hits while recording five strikeouts. Small and Kauffman were each 2-for-4 in the game. Small scored a pair of runs and added an RBI, while Kauffman added an RBI and a run scored. Jordan Reitz (Waynesboro/Waynesboro) also had two hits with a run scored in the game. The Blue Jays had seven players finish with at least two hits in the game. Auman notched three hits, drove in three and scored twice for the visitors. Brandon Watson had two hits and scored three times in the game, while Vinagro finished with one hit and four RBI. Juniata and Elizabethtown will conclude a three-game series with a doubleheader on Saturday at Elizabethtown. ###

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