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Bats come alive as baseball takes season series from PSU-Altoona

(Posted April 12, 2010)

ALTOONA, Pa. - The Juniata College baseball team pounded out 16 hits, and had 12 RBI's en route to a 13-9 victory over Penn State Altoona in a single nine inning nonconference matchup, Monday afternoon, at the Stewart Athletic Fields in Altoona, Pa.

This was the third meeting between the Eagles and Lions this season, as both teams split a double-header affair in Huntingdon on March 24.

The Eagles offense jumped out on the Lions quickly and continued to put up runs through the late part of the game. They sprinted to a 4-0 lead before the Lions ever came to bat, and also put up a crooked number in the sixth and seventh innings.

The hit parade started with the second batter of the game, as Andrew Kriss (Forest Hill, Md./John Carroll) hit his first of three doubles on the day. He promptly stole third base before being knocked home on a Greg Hoffman (Phoenix, Md./Dulaney) single, two batters later.

With two outs and two men on, the designated hitter, Russ Gray (Johnstown, Pa./Richland), crushed a three run homerun to give the visitors a 4-0 lead.

Still leading 5-3 after five complete innings, the Eagles put up seven runs over the next two innings to put a firm grip on the game.

Juniata (7-17 overall) used a bases empty, two out rally to post three runs in the sixth inning.

Chase Dysktra (Somerset, Pa./Somerset Area) started the rally with a double. Kriss followed with a walk, and then Johnny Martinez (Mt. Union, Pa./Mt. Union) was hit by a pitched ball to load the bases. Hoffman stepped in and cranked a triple, chasing all three runners home to extend the lead to 8-3.

The Lions scratched another run across in the sixth before the Eagles took control of the game for good.

Gray led things off with a two-bagger, before being moved to third base on a single by Evan Pappas (Potomac, Md./Thomas Sprigg Wootten). A wild pitch by Altoona reliever Travis Marks, allowed Gray to waltz home for the first run of the inning.

Kyle Saxman (York, Pa./York Suburban) singled two batters later, bringing home Pappas. After a Dykstra fly out to left field, Kriss stepped up with his third double of the afternoon, scoring Thomas Eck (Columbia, Pa./Lancaster Catholic). The final run of the inning came off a sacrifice fly by Martinez, plating Saxman.

Altoona (9-15 overall) made it interesting with a four spot of its own in the eighth inning, but Nate Burkey (Alexandria, Pa./Juniata Valley) closed the book with a scoreless ninth.

Matt Regan (Downingtown, Pa./Devon Prep) started on the bump for Juniata, looking to get some work done after having their bye weekend in the Landmark Conference. He threw three innings, giving up three hits and an earned run (two runs), while striking out five Lions.

John Love (Loysburg, Pa./Northern Bedford) was also looking to stretch his arm out, as he threw the next four innings, giving up two earned on six hits. He also struck out five batters while not surrendering a walk.

Kriss finished 4 for 5 with those three doubles, and added two RBI's and two runs scored. Gray ended the day with three hits in four at-bats, knocking in three runners and scoring twice himself. Hoffman plated four Eagles on the day, ending with two hits, and also scoring a run. In all, eight out of the nine Juniata started had at least one hit.

The Eagles return home on Wednesday, April 14, when they take on another nonconference rival, Elizabethtown College, at Langdon-Goodale Field. First pitch is slated for 3:30 p.m.

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