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Martinez plates three runs to lead Juniata past Catholic, 6-4

(Posted March 15, 2009)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College's three-run uprising in the eighth inning proved to be the difference as the Eagles posted a 6-4 win over Catholic University, in Landmark Conference baseball action on Sunday at Langdon-Goodale Field.

Heading into the eighth with a 3-2 lead, Juniata's Andrew Kriss (Forest Hill, Md./John Carroll) reached on a one-out fielder's choice grounder back to the pitcher. Matt Sullivan (Elizabethtown, Pa./Elizabethtown) put runners on first and second with a walk, and Adam Spadafora (Asbury, N.J./Pennington School) loaded the bases when he reached on a bunt single.

Catholic reliever Michael Bzozowski issued a walk to Kevin Small (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton North), forcing in one run, and John Martinez (Mount Union, Pa./Mount Union) plated two more runs with a single to right field.

The Cardinals (7-7, 2-1 Landmark) scored a pair of runs in the top of the ninth, when Pat Quintana singled through the left side to score Joe Bencivenga and Cory Hudson. With runners on first and second, Juniata reliever Chad Kulik (Johnstown, Pa./Richland) forced Catholic's Mike Goodman to ground out to second base, allowing the Eagles to post the win.

For the third game in a row, Catholic scored a pair of runs in the top of the first inning with Juniata responding with one run in the bottom of the frame. A Quintana double and a Goodman single drove in the two Cardinals runs in the top of the first inning, while Martinez stroked a two-out double and scored on a Greg Hoffman (Phoenix, Md./Dulaney) single in the Juniata half of the first.

The Eagles plated two runs in the bottom of the fifth to take a 3-2 lead. Juniata opened the inning with a Kriss double and a Sullivan single; Kriss scored from third on a throwing error by Cardinal catcher Quintana during Sullivan's steal of second base, and Sullivan later crossed on Small's double to left center field.

Juniata starter Tyler Clifford (Homer City, Pa./Home City) allowed 10 hits but struck out five Catholic batter over eight-and-two-thirds innings of work, to earn the win and improve his record to 2-1. Kulik picked up his first save of the season for his work in the ninth inning.

Spadafora and Martinez each finished with three hits, while Martinez had three runs batted in and Small recorded a pair of RBI. Small's double in the fifth extended in current hitting streak to nine games.

Catholic starter Andrew Moldawer lasted six complete innings, allowing three earned runs on nine hits, and was charged with the loss.

Juniata (4-7, 1-2 Landmark) returns to action on Wednesday, March 19, when it hosts Pitt-Bradford at 3:00 p.m. on Langdon-Goodale Field.

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