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Juniata baseball edged by Penn State-Altoona in doubleheader

(Posted April 24, 2009)

ALTOONA, Pa. -- The Juniata College baseball team dropped both ends of a doubleheader to Penn State-Altoona on Friday at Stewart Field, falling 8-1 in the first game and narrowly losing 10-8 in game two.

Sophomore John Martinez (Mount Union, Pa./Mount Union) went 4-for-7 at the plate over the two games, with a home run in the first game and a double in the second. Seniors Kevin Small (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton North) and Dane Ott (South Williamsport, Pa./South Williamsport) each had a pair of hits in the second game, with Small hitting a pair of doubles and Ott belting his fourth home run of the season.

In game one, Penn State-Altoona (22-12) scored single runs in the second and third innings before breaking the game wide open with three runs in both the fifth and sixth. The Lions' Grady Luzier had a two-run double in the sixth, while Jim Byers plated one run with a double to center field.

Juniata (12-19) broke the shutout bid with a single run in the sixth on Martinez's round-tripper.

Freshman lefthander Will Hoffman (Phoenix, Md./Dulaney) allowed seven earned runs in the complete game decision for Juniata, falling to 1-3. Lions' starter Mike Myers allowed just four hits in the complete game win.

In the second game, a three-run uprising in the sixth by Penn State-Altoona broke 7-7 tie and eventually proved to be the difference in the game. A Cord Heine RBI double down the left field line scored what proved to be the game-winning run.

The Eagles tacked on one run in the top of the seventh, on a Martinez double to right field that plated Small. Martinez advanced as far as third, but Juniata hit into a double play to end the rally.

Juniata had trailed 7-2 after two complete innings, but tied the game with a three-run third and two runs in the fourth. RBI singles by Ian Thorne (Germantown, Md./Seneca Valley) and Ott scored two of the Eagle runs in the third inning, while a two-run single by Martinez was the key hit in the fourth.

Eagle starter Nate Burkey (Alexandria, Pa./Juniata Valley) allowed six earned runs over six complete innings, and fell to 0-3 with the loss.

Juniata opens its final Landmark Conference series of the season on Saturday, as it travels to Bethlehem, Pa., to face Moravian College.

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