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Eagle baseball inches closer to clinching title with twinbill sweep of Scranton

(Posted April 19, 2008)

SCRANTON, Pa. -- The Juniata College baseball team put itself closer to clinching the Landmark Conference regular season title with a doubleheader sweep of the University of Scranton, Saturday afternoon at Connell Park in Scranton, Pa. Juniata captured the first game 9-5, and then completed the twinbill sweep with a 7-0 win in game two. The wins keep Juniata in first place in the Landmark Conference standings, with a maximum of five games remaining on the schedule: Sunday's third game of the series against Scranton, a three-game home stand against fourth-place Moravian College, and a potential make-up game against sixth-place Drew University that was originally snowed-out back on March 22. The Eagles (20-9, 12-1) put up what proved to the game-winning run in game two in the second inning, when John Martinez (Mt. Union, Pa./Mt. Union) reached on an error by the right fielder and was plated on Shawn McDonald's (Pittsburgh, Pa./Bishop Carnevin) single. Juniata padded its lead with a three-run uprising in the third, keyed by Steve Wilk's (Blairsville, Pa./Blairsville) two-run home run. Three more Eagle runs scored in the fifth, with two runs crossing on a Dane Ott (South Williamsport, Pa./South Williamsport) double. Jay Enoch (Lancaster, Pa./Hempfield) fanned 10 Royal batters while scattering four hits in seven innings of work, improving his record to 7-2. John Gennaoui allowed all seven Juniata runs, six earned, on eight hits and four walks and was charged with the loss. In game one, the Eagles had to come-from-behind after trailing Scranton 4-3 after the first inning. Juniata plated three runs in the top of the first, with Greg Hoffman (Phoenix, Md./Dulaney) having a hand in all three runs; he scored Kevin Small (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton North) and Adam Spadafora (Asbury, N.J./Pennington School) on a bases-loaded single, then crossed the plate himself on a wild pitch by Scranton's Todd McGee. The Royals (17-11, 8-6 Landmark) answered in the bottom of the frame with four runs, two of them coming off a Chris Doyle double that drove in Andrew Outhouse and Chris Bligh. Martinez belted a two-run homer in the top of the third to put Juniata back into the lead, 5-4. A pair of Eagle homers in the fifth ??????¢?" a two-run blast by Wilk that also scored Hoffman, followed by a two-out solo shot by Ott ??????¢?" stretched the Juniata lead to 8-4. Scranton and Juniata traded runs in the bottom of the sixth and the top of the seventh, with Richard Raiani hitting a solo home run for the Royals while Matt Sullivan (Elizabethtown, Pa./Elizabethtown) scored on Andrew Kriss' (Forest Hill, Md./John Carroll) grounder to third that mishandled by Raiani. Eagle lefthander Andrew Snyder (Punxsutawney, Pa./Punxsutawney) went the distance in the seven-inning game, yielding one earned run on six hits and three walks with six strikeouts while improving his record to 5-2. McGee was responsible for seven of Juniata's nine runs, and was charged with the loss. McGee was lifted in the fifth in favor of Mike Sidlowski, who allowed two runs, one earned, to cross in two-and-a-third innings of work. Juniata will complete its three-game series against the University of Scranton on Sunday, April 20, at Connell Park. The game was originally scheduled for a 1:00 p.m. start, but will now begin at 11:30 a.m. due to the threat of inclement weather on Sunday afternoon in Scranton. -30-

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