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LANDMARK BASEBALL: Juniata baseball drops elimination game to Scranton in Landmark Conference tournament

(Posted May 3, 2008)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- A Juniata College rally in the late innings fell one run short of the mark, as the Eagles dropped a 14-13 decision to the University of Scranton in an elimination game of the 2008 Landmark Conference Baseball Tournament, Sunday morning on Langdon-Goodale Field in Huntingdon, Pa. The loss eliminated top-seeded Juniata from the tournament, while Scranton (26-14) advanced to face winner's bracket finalist Catholic University of America. The clash between the Eagles and the Royals was restarted at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, with Scranton leading 7-2 after three complete innings. The game was suspended after three complete innings due to rain and then lightning. Scranton started off the game on Saturday in the first inning with four runs off two singles, one each from Kevin Johnson and Ray Girnys, and three walks. Juniata responded with two runs in the second, scoring Steve Wilk (Blairsville, Pa. / Blairsville) on a wild pitch and John Martinez (Mt. Union, Pa. / Mt. Union) off Andrew Kriss's (Forest Hill, Md. / John Carroll) single to left center. The Royals added to their lead in the second with three runs off three singles and a double. Entering the fifth inning on Sunday morning, the Eagles put up a fight, posting seven runs. Adam Spadafora (Lebanon, N.J. / Pennington School) sent a triple down the right field line, scoring Kriss and Shawn McDonald (Pittsburgh, Pa. / Bishop Canevin), both who reached on walks. Spadafora later scored off a single to left field from Dan Kauffman (Conestoga, Pa. / Penn Manor). Greg Hoffman (Phoenix, Md. / Dulaney) homered over the left field fence, bringing in three runs. Martinez followed right behind, sending another ball over the fence, for a solo home run. Scranton's Charles Comprelli and Chris Psihoules each scored a run in the bottom of the fifth after reaching on a single and a Juniata throwing error, respectively. Scranton secured their lead again in the sixth with two home runs, by Comprelli and Psihoules, and three singles. Juniata put up a fight the remainder of the game, bringing in two runs in the seventh and one run in each of the last two innings. The Eagles plated one run with two outs in the top of the ninth when Spadafora reached on a single, and scored after consecutive walks were issued to Kevin Small (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton North), Kauffman, and Hoffman. With the tying run just 90 feet away, Wilk's pop-up into foul territory was grabbed by Scranton's Chris Bligh, clinching the win for the Royals. Scranton's John Gennaoui earned the win for the game, while Scott Garbe claimed the save. Seven Royals had multi-hit games, with Justin Champagne leading, going 3-for-4 at the plate. Spadafora continued his hitting streak for the Eagles, going 3-for-6 at the plate, with two RBI. He was one of five Juniata batters to have more than one hit. -30-

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