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Three first inning runs too much to overcome as baseball receives set back to Mt. St. Joseph's

(Posted March 8, 2010)

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - The Juniata College baseball team received two hits and two runs batted in from senior Andrew Kriss (Forrest Hill, Md./John Carroll), but it was not enough as the Eagles dropped a 6-2 decision to the College of Mount St. Joseph's, in the Snowbird Baseball Classic in Port Charlotte, Fla., on Monday night.

The Lions scored three runs in the bottom half of the first inning to take a 3-0 lead and Juniata (1-3) was never able to recover.

Now trailing 5-0 going into their half of the seventh inning, the Eagles attempted the comeback bid. With one out, sophomore Thomas Eck (Columbia, Pa./Lancaster Catholic) started the rally with a single into right field. Junior Andrew Hirsch (Annandale, Va./Falls Church) sent a ball down the first base line that was foul by inches. If fair, that would have placed runners on second and third with one away. Instead, Hirsch grounded into a fielders' choice to have two outs in the inning.

Freshman Chase Dykstra (Somerset, Pa./Somerset Area) worked a two out walk to place runners on first and second. Kriss stepped in and launched the first pitch he saw into deep center field, plating both Hirsch and Dykstra, resulting in a double. But, that was all they could mustard as Mount St. Joseph's (2-4) was able to leave two men on after a John Martinez (Mount Union, Pa./Mount Union) grounder to the second baseman ended the threat.

Josh Schafer came in for the Lions in the eighth inning and pitched the remaining two frames, not allowing a hit and striking out two in the process to end the game, 6-2.

Sophomore Will Hoffman (Phoenix, Md./Dulaney) started on the hill for the Eagles and pitched five innings, striking out five batters, but allowed five earned runs and four walks. Junior Nate Burkey (Alexandria, Pa./Juniata Valley) came in relief, pitching the next two innings for Juniata, giving up one run on one hit, and a walk. Senior Mike McGonigal (Peters Township, Pa./Peters Township) closed the book in the bottom half of the eighth with a scoreless inning.

The Eagles have a day off before returning to their spring break schedule on Wednesday, March 10, in a showdown with Bluffton University. First pitch is scheduled for 5:00 p.m.

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