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Baseball swept in doubleheader by Manhattanville

(Posted March 11, 2009)

FORT PIERCE, Fla. -- The Juniata College baseball team had plenty of opportunities to score, but struggled to drive in runs as the Eagles dropped both ends of a doubleheader to Manhattanville College, Wednesday morning in Fort Pierce, Fla. Manhattanville took game one by a 9-6 score, and completed the sweep in game two 7-4.

In the first game, Manhattanville posted seven runs in the top of the seventh inning to break open a 2-1 game and take a 9-1 lead. The Valiants got the bulk of their scoring off two-run singles from Joe Gallace, Kevin Murray and Danny Gonzalez.

Juniata responded with five runs in the bottom of the seventh, with Greg Hoffman (Phoenix, Md./Dulaney) plating two runs on a single. Ian Thorne (Germantown, Md./Seneca Valley) doubled home another run, while Dane Ott (South Williamsport, Pa./South Williamsport) drove in Hoffman with another single.

Thorne crossed on a sac fly by Thomas Eck (Lancaster, Pa./Lancaster Catholic), but a strikeout ended the rally with the tying run on deck.

Freshman Will Hoffman (Phoenix, Md./Dulaney) pitched five-and-two-thirds innings and took the loss, allowing two earned runs on six hits with two walks and one strikeout. Relievers Chad Kulik (Johnstown, Pa./Richland) and Josh Roy (Fredericksburg, Pa./Northern Lebanon) finished out the game, and allowed a combined seven earned runs on five hits and three walks.

Manhattanville jumped out to a early lead in game two, putting five runs on the scoreboard in the first inning on five hits and two walks.

The Eagles answered with a three-run fourth inning, keyed by Matt Sullivan's (Elizabethtown, Pa./Elizabethtown) double that scored Kyle Saxman (York, Pa./York Suburban) and Ott. Manhattanville expanded its lead to 7-3 in the bottom half of the inning, when a two-out single by Gallace drove in two runs.

Juniata tacked on a single run in the top of the fifth, when Kevin Small (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton North) reached on a leadoff double and was singled home by Roy. However the Eagles would get no closer to the Valiants, as they were retired with three-up, three-down innings in the sixth and seventh.

The Eagles went with a staff effort on the mound in game two, with Tyler Clifford (Homer City, Pa./Homer City) getting the start and only lasting one inning. John Love (Loysburg, Pa./Northern Bedford), Marty Hauck (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman) and Johnny Martinez (Mount Union, Pa./Mount Union) all worked short stints against Manhattanville, with Clifford taking the loss.

Juniata completes its Florida trip on Thursday morning, when the Eagles face Penn State-Behrend in a doubleheader starting at 8:45 a.m. The Eagles will then return home to prepare for their Landmark Conference home opener on Saturday against Catholic University.

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