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Moravian upends Juniata baseball to avoid sweep

(Posted April 27, 2008)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College closed out its 2008 Landmark Conference slate with a 10-8 loss to Moravian College, in baseball action Sunday afternoon on Langdon-Goodale Field in Huntingdon, Pa. The loss was purely cosmetic for the Eagles (25-10, 16-2 Landmark) - a minor blemish on a conference record that allowed them to clinch the regular season title last weekend, and the right to host the Landmark Conference Tournament next Friday, May 2, through Sunday, May 4, on Langdon-Goodale Field. Moravian (17-21, 9-9 Landmark) gave up two runs to the Eagles in the bottom of the first, including one on a Steve Wilk (Blairsville, Pa./Blairsville) RBI double, but took the lead with a four-run uprising in the top of the second. The Greyhounds opened the second with a walk and three straight singles to score one run and added a second on a throwng error by Eagle pitcher Tyler Clifford (Homer City, Pa./Homer City). A Jon Baltz sac fly to left field plated another run, and Brett Stout's single into right-center drove in a fourth run. The teams traded runs in the third inning, with Juniata's run coming courtesy a Kevin Small (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton North) home run to left field. The Eagles took a 6-5 lead in the fourth inning on a three-run shot to right field by Dan Kauffman (Conestoga, Pa./Penn Manor), but the lead was short lived as Moravian tied the game at 6-6 in the fifth when Brad Bodine reached on a lead-off walk and crossed on a double play ball to shortstop. Moravian broke the deadlock with a three-run seventh inning, highlighted by Joseph Durso's RBI double to left field. The Greyhounds tacked on another run in the eighth when a Durso single to right field scored Stout from second base. Juniata rallied for two runs in the eighth on RBI singles from Andrew Kriss (Forest Hill, Md./John Carroll) and Adam Spadafora (Asbury, N.J./Pennington School). The Eagles had Kriss on third and Spadafora on second and were threatening to tie the game, but Greyhound reliever Ryan Cummings got Small to fly out to right field to end the inning. Moravian starter Joe Melchionna earned the win, scattering six hits with two walks and three strikeouts in six innings of work. Cummings earned the save for the Greyhounds, coming on in the eighth with two runners aboard and a four-run lead. Juniata starter Tyler Clifford (Homer City, Pa./Homer City) was pulled in the fourth inning with an elbow injury, and was replaced by Marty Hauck (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman). Clifford allowed five earned runs on nine hits with two walks, while Hauck yielded four earned runs on five hits. Reliever Chad Kulik (Johnstown, Pa./Richland) closed out the game for Juniata, striking out three of the nine batters he faced. The Eagles will close out the regular season on Monday afternoon against Gettysburg College, before Landmark Conference Tournament play begins on Friday. Juniata will play no. 4 seed University of Scranton in a noon game on Friday, followed by no. 2 Susquehanna against no. 3 Catholic at 3:30 p.m. -30-

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