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Pitt-Bradford edges Juniata baseball with 10th inning walk-off

(Posted April 5, 2010)

BRADFORD, Pa. -- A walk-off double by Pitt-Bradford's Johnny Phelps plated the game-winning run and allowed the Panthers to post a 14-13 over Juniata College, in non-conference baseball on Monday afternoon in Bradford, Pa.

Phelps' two-out double plated Justin Bifano, who got aboard when he was hit by a pitch from Juniata starting center fielder and reliever Johnny Martinez (Mount Union, Pa./Mount Union).

The game had been tied at 4-4 through six complete innings, but Juniata (6-17) seemed to take control of the game with a seven-run uprising in the top of the seventh.

A pair of singles by Chase Dykstra (Somerset, Pa./Somerset Area) and Andrew Kriss (Forest Hill, Md./John Carroll) started off the frame, and Martinez plated both runners with a double. Two more singles by Greg Hoffman (Phoenix, Md./Dulaney) and Ian Thorne helped force two more runs across, and a pair of walks sandwiched around a Thomas Eck (Columbia, Pa./Lancaster Catholic) base hit kept the runners moving and scored another run.

A sacrifice fly by Dykstra on his second at bat of the inning plated a sixth run, and Kriss' grounder to short produced a Pitt-Bradford error that allowed a seventh Juniata run of the inning to come home.

The Panthers got one run back in the bottom of the seventh, but the Eagles got it back with a single run in the top of the eighth. That sent into the bottom of the eighth with a 12-5 lead, six outs away from the win.

Pitt-Bradford (8-11) rallied for seven runs in the Panther eighth, keyed by a solo home run off the bat of Phelps and a two-run round-tripper by Bifano.

The two squads traded singles runs in the ninth inning, and Juniata's one base runner in the top of the 10th inning could not advance beyond first base - all setting the stage for Phelps' game-winning double in the bottom of the 10th.

The loss was Martinez's first of the season, in his second appearance on the hill this season and only the seventh pitching appearance of his collegiate career. He was the fifth Eagle pitcher to take the mound against Pitt-Bradford; starter Will Hoffman (Phoenix, Md./Dulaney) lasted three innings and yielded three runs, all earned, on five hits.

Relievers Marty Hauck (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman), Nate Burkey (Alexandria, Pa./Juniata Valley), and Josh Green (Hagerstown, Md./Clear Springs) all made brief appearances prior to Martinez.

Pitt-Bradford reliever Elijah Jones picked up the win, after throwing two innings of no-hit ball. He allowed one earned run on the two walks he issued.

Greg Hoffman led Juniata the plate with a 3-for-5 effort, while Dykstra, Kriss and Thorne each finished with two hits. Dykstra's 2-for-4 effort included his second triple of the season. Martinez drove in three runs for the Eagles.

Juniata returns to action on Monday, April 12, when it travels to Altoona, Pa., to face Penn State-Altoona. First pitch is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

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