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Clifford misses no-no by two outs in Juniata baseball sweep of W&J

(Posted March 28, 2008)

WASHINGTON, Pa. -- Juniata College righthander Tyler Clifford (Homer City, Pa./Homer City) came within two outs of a no-hitter while leading the Eagles to a 6-2 win over Washington & Jefferson, completing a doubleheader sweep of the Presidents in baseball action Friday afternoon at Ross Memorial Park in Washington, Pa. The Eagles (10-6, 5-0) pounded out 13 runs on 12 hits in a 13-3 victory in the first game of the twinbill. With the sweep, Juniata extended its winning streak to nine. Clifford carried the no-hitter into the seventh inning, when W&J's Mark Thomchick singled to shortstop with one out in the frame. The Presidents collected two more hits and reaped the benefits of a Juniata error to score two runs in the frame, before the game ended with Justin Benson's ground out to the pitcher. Juniata got on the board in the first inning when Kevin Small (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton North) reached with a walk and scored on a wild pitch. The Eagles plated two more runs in the second on four straight singles off W&J starter Mike Gielata, including RBI hits by Small and Dan Kauffman (Conestoga, Pa./Penn Manor). Kauffman added some insurance for the Eagles in the fourth inning with a bases loaded triple down the right field line, scoring Small, Adam Spadafora (Asbury, N.J./Pennington School), and Andrew Kriss (Forest Hill, Md./John Carroll). Clifford fanned five President batters while yielding just two walks in the win, improving his season record to 3-1. In the first game, Juniata also jumped on the board early, grabbing a 2-1 lead in the first inning. The Eagles opened with three straight singles and a double play grounder that scored Spadafora and then Small, while W&J responded with Mark Baker's RBI single to center field. Each team doubled its score in the second inning, with Juniata's Shawn McDonald (Pittsburgh, Pa./Bishop Canevin) crossing the plate on Spadafora's RBI single to left field, and Kriss eventually coming home on a balk. The Eagles broke the game wide open in the fifth inning with six runs on three hits and four errors, with Steve Wilk (Blairsville, Pa./Blairsville) doing much of the damage with a two-run single to right center field. Dane Ott (South Williamsport, Pa./South Williamsport) plated another run with an RBI single to left field, and two more runs crossed when W&J's Baker committed an error at first base on a McDonald grounder. Juniata added three more runs in the seventh, including a pair that scored on an error by President third baseman Brett Ferlic on a Kriss ground ball. Eagle starter Andrew Snyder (Punxsutawney, Pa./Punxsutawney) scattered seven hits while allowing two walks and striking out five in the complete game win, improving his mark to 3-1. Juniata will put its nine-game streak on the line on Sunday, March 30, when it travels to Annville, Pa., to face Lebanon Valley College in a doubleheader starting at 1:00 p.m. -30-

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