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Juniata and Susquehanna combine for 54 runs as teams split twinbill

(Posted April 12, 2008)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- You can call Juniata College's Saturday afternoon Landmark Conference baseball doubleheader against Susquehanna University a lot of things. You could call it wind-aided, with a steady breeze to left field that kept the U.S. flag at nearby Knox Stadium looking like plywood for most of the six hours it took to play the two seven-inning games. It would be fair to call it a treat for baseball fans who enjoy the longball, with a total of 10 home runs jumping out of Langdon-Goodale Field in Huntingdon, Pa., during the afternoon. Just don't call it a pitcher's duel. The Eagles and Susquehanna combined to burn through 12 pitchers and totaled 54 runs during the twinbill, with the Crusaders posting a 20-5 win in game one and Juniata responding with a 19-10 victory in the second game. The split allowed Juniata (17-8, 10-1 Landmark) to edge closer to clinching a berth in the Landmark Conference Baseball Tournament, while remaining atop the league standings. Juniata jumped out to quick lead in game two, with a nine-run first inning keyed by Greg Hoffman's (Phoenix, Md./Dulaney) three-run home run to left-center, and Dane Ott's (South Williamsport, Pa./South Williamsport) solo shot to straightaway center. A Kevin Small (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton North) two-out double to left field plated three more runs for the Eagles before the end of the inning. Susquehanna (14-14, 9-5 Landmark) chipped away at the Eagle lead with two runs in the second and a single marker in the third, before the Eagles completed their scoring with 10 runs in the bottom of the fourth. Andrew Kriss (Forest Hill, Md./John Carroll) accounted for a pair of runs with a two-run blast to left-center field. Shawn McDonald (Pittsburgh, Pa./Bishop Canevin) batted twice in the fourth inning, lacing two-run singles into left field each time. Hoffman opened the frame with his second solo round-tripper of the game. Juniata starter Tyler Clifford (Homer City, Pa./Homer City) went five innings, allowing six earned runs on 10 hits while getting credit for the win. Susquehanna's Bryce Warden, who yielded nine earned runs on nine hits while facing 15 batters in a little over an inning of work, was charged with the loss. In the first game, Susquehanna put runs up on the scoreboard in five of the game's seven innings. The Crusaders used seven singles and a double to drive in seven runs in the top of the third inning, and take a commanding lead in the game. Susquehanna added three more in the fourth, off a solo home run by Kyle Wertman and a two-run single by Zack Brigman. After Juniata plated two runs in the bottom of the fourth on a John Martinez (Mt. Union, Pa./Mt. Union) homer and a one-run single by Matt Sullivan (Elizabethtown, Pa./Elizabethtown), a solo shot by the Crusaders' Chris Price and an RBI single by Don Kirkland added two more runs for Susquehanna in the fifth. Susquehanna's capped its scoring with six runs in the sixth, including a pair of two-run blasts by Price and Brian Ahearn. Juniata lefthander Andrew Snyder (Punxsutawney, Pa./Punxsutawney) was chased after two-and-two-thirds innings, after allowing nine earned runs on 10 hits with two walks and two strikeouts. He was lifted in the third for Brian Markovich (Northern Cambria, Pa./Northern Cambria), who also pitched the fourth inning and recorded a pair of strikeouts. Marty Hauck (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman), Anthony Martini (Homer City, Pa./Homer City), and Chad Kulik (Johnstown, Pa./Richland) all contributed to finish the game for Juniata. Susquehanna ace John Lunardi yielded four runs on eight hits in five innings of work to earn the win, before being lifted in the sixth for reliever Keith Needham. The Eagles return to action on Monday, April 14, when they face Penn State-Altoona at 1:00 p.m. in Altoona, Pa. The games will be played at Altoona's Blair County Ballpark, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates' double-A affiliate Altoona Curve. -30-

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