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Baseball splits doubleheader against Pitt-Greensburg

(Posted April 17, 2009)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Senior Dane Ott (South Williamsport, Pa./South Williamsport) went 3-for-4 at the plate and drove in three runs to lead Juniata College to a 10-7 win over the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, to open the teams' baseball doubleheader Friday afternoon on Langdon-Goodale Field.

Pitt-Greensburg answered with a 25-12 win in game two of the twinbill, propelled by a 12-run fifth inning that included two Bobcat grand slams and one by the Eagles.

In the first game, Juniata (10-15) grabbed a 2-0 advantage in the first inning and held the lead the rest of the way, beating back a pair of Pitt-Greensburg rallies.

The two teams traded single runs in the third inning, but a three-run fourth inning for the Eagles, keyed by Matt Sullivan's (Elizabethtown, Pa./Elizabethtown) two-run triple and an RBI single off the bat of Adam Spadafora (Asbury, N.J./Pennington School), allowed Juniata to charge ahead to a 6-1 lead.

Pitt-Greensburg (14-14) rallied with three runs in the top of the fifth, fueled by Mike Battocchi's two-run double, cutting the lead to 6-4. Josh Roy's (Fredericksburg, Pa./Northern Lebanon) base hit in the bottom of the fifth plated Ott, widening the margin to 7-4, but the Bobcats answered with a run of their own in the top of the sixth.

The Eagles expanded their lead to 10-5 with a three-run uprising in the sixth, with two runs coming off his third home run of the season. Pitt-Greensburg responded with two runs in the top of the seventh off a pair of hits and two Juniata errors, but could get no closer.

Juniata starter Marty Hauck (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman) went the distance in the seven-inning contest, picking up his first win of the season. Bobcat starter Aaron Weitzman was tagged with the loss after yielding six runs on nine hits.

In game two, Juniata and Pitt-Greensburg combined for four home runs, three of which were grand slams.

With the game tied 3-3, Pitt-Greensburg put up eight runs in the top of the fourth inning. Most of the damage came off a two-run double to left-center by Chad Hoffner and a three-run triple to right field by Matt Diehl.

Juniata cut the UPG lead to 11-6 with three runs in the bottom of the fourth, with a two-run triple by Sullivan and a base hit by Spadafora scoring the Eagle runs.

The Bobcats broke the game wide open with a 12-run outburst in the fifth, including grand slams by Craig Huhn and Battocchi.

Juniata got six of those runs back in the bottom of the frame. Andrew Hirsch (Annandale, Va./Falls Church) accounted for four of the Eagle runs with a grand slam for his first collegiate home run. Thomas Eck (Lancaster, Pa./Lancaster Catholic) drew a bases load walk earlier in the inning to force one run across, and an Ian Thorne (Germantown, Md./Seneca Valley) RBI single later in the fifth plated another run.

The three grand slams by two teams in a single game matched an NCAA Division III record set twice previously, according to the current record book; Pitt-Greensburg's two grand slams in a single inning marked the ninth time that feat has occurred.

The Bobcats capped their scoring with two runs in the sixth on a Chad Hoffner home run.

Juniata starter Will Hoffman (Phoenix, Md./Dulaney) went three-and-two-thirds innings, and took the loss for to fall to 1-2. Pitt-Greensburg's Ben Sorosky picked up the win, while reliever John Skeels earned a save for his work in relief.

The Eagles return to action Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. when they host Landmark Conference rival University of Scranton on Langdon-Goodale Field.

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