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Baseball splits twinbill with Penn State-Altoona

(Posted April 14, 2008)

ALTOONA, Pa. -- Juniata College fought back repeated Penn State-Altoona rallies and posted an 8-7 win over the Lions, avoiding the doubleheader sweep in the teams' baseball doubleheader on Monday afternoon at the Blair County Ballpark in Altoona, Pa. The Eagles dropped the opening game 5-4, after Penn State-Altoona scored a pair of runs with two out in the bottom of the seventh inning. In game two, Juniata (17-11) plated four runs in the first inning, with Steve Wilk (Blairsville, Pa./Blairsville) driving in a pair on his double to right-center and Dane Ott (South Williamsport, Pa./South Williamsport) adding two more with his home run to left field. The Lions responded with a three-run second inning that was aided by a two-run error by Wilk, and an RBI walk issued to R.J. Barnard. Each team put up three runs in the third, with Juniata scoring on Ott's two-run double to center field and an RBI singles down the right field line by Andrew Kriss (Forest Hill, Md./John Carroll). Penn State-Altoona's runs came courtesy Ryan Pollicino's three-run blast to right field. The Lions scored a single run in the bottom of the sixth on Tony Petulla's one-out single to center field, which also advanced Rob Traister to second representing the tying run. Juniata got out of the jam when Chris Dixon flied out to left field, and Eagle left fielder Kevin Campbell (Darnestown, Md./Poolesville) threw to second where Traister was caught off the bag for the inning-ending double play. Juniata starter Marty Hauck (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman) allowed three earned runs on six hits and four walks and came away with the win. Penn State-Altoona starter Tyler Elbin yielded all eight earned runs on five hits with five walks, and was tagged with the loss. In the first game, Juniata saw a one-run lead evaporate in the bottom of the seventh, as the Lions escaped with the win. Tony Petulla got aboard with a two-out walk, and promptly scored on Grady Luzier's double to left field. After an intentional pass was issued to Dixon, putting runners on second and first, Tyler Stiffler ended the game with a walk-off single to center field that allowed Luzier to score. The Lions scored two in the bottom of the first, with Juniata answering in the third with two runs scored on walks. A Wilk single to the left side scored Kevin Small (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton North) in the fifth inning, while Dixon drove in Petulla in the bottom of the frame with a sacrifice fly to left field. Eagle righthander Brian Markovich (Northern Cambria, Pa./Northern Cambria) fanned four Lion batters, but yielded four earned runs on 11 hits and four walks and was charged with the loss. Penn State Altoona starter Zach Darling picked up the complete game win, allowing just one earned run on five hits and six walks. Juniata returns to action on Saturday, April 19, when it faces the University of Scranton in a Landmark Conference matchup in Scranton, Pa. -30-

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