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Clifford and Regan pitch Juniata baseball past Merchant Marine in doubleheader sweep

(Posted April 17, 2010)

KINGS POINT, N.Y. -- Juniata College pitchers Tyler Clifford (Homer City, Pa./Homer Center) and Matt Regan (Downingtown, Pa./Devon Prep) each tossed a complete game win, leading the Eagles to an 8-2 and 5-2 doubleheader sweep over the United States Merchant Marine Academy on Saturday afternoon on Lower Roosevelt Field.

Clifford scattered seven hits and fanned six Mariner batters, while allowing just two earned runs and one walk in the 8-2 win in game one. He improved his mark to 3-3 this season.

Juniata (9-18, 6-5 Landmark) scored all the runs in would need in the top of the first, scoring three runs on five singles, two stolen bases, a walk, and a sac fly. Andrew Kriss (Forest Hill, Md./John Carroll) drove in Chase Dykstra (Somerset, Pa./Somerset Area) with an RBI single, while Greg Hoffman (Phoenix, Md./Dulaney) singled home Kriss two batters later after Johnny Martinez (Mount Union, Pa./Mount Union) drew a walk.

Russel Gray (Johnstown, Pa./Richland) plated what proved to be the game-winning run with a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Martinez.

Merchant Marine (5-19, 1-13 Landmark) answered with two runs in the first bottom of the first, highlighted by Doug Carter's RBI double.

The Eagles added two more runs in the fifth on Evan Pappas' (Potomac, Md./Thomas Spring Wootton) two-run single. A three-run seventh inning for Juniata was built around a pair of hits, including a one-run single off the bat of Ian Thorne (Germantown, Md./Seneca Valley) and three Mariner errors.

Kriss finished the game with a 3-for-5 ledger at the plate, as did Thorne. Pappas was 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI, while Dykstra and Hoffman had one hit apiece.

In game two, Juniata finished the come-back win with the go-ahead run in the top of the sixth on an RBI single by Thorne, putting the Eagles on top 3-2. Juniata tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the seventh, keyed by Dykstra's one-run double. Thorne drove in another run with a sac fly to center field, plating Dykstra.

Juniata opened the game with a Martinez home run in the first, but Merchant Marine took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second with a pair of runs on RBI singles by John Hubach and Christian Lopez.

The Eagles knotted the game at 1-1 in the top of the third when Dykstra reached on a lead-off triple, and crossed two batters later on a Martinez sacrifice fly to left field.

Regan allowed just five hits and struck out eight Mariners, improving to 3-1 with the complete game win.

Dykstra went 3-for-4 at the plate, while Martinez and Thorne each had two hits with two runs batted in. Kriss notched a single hit in the game, extending his consecutive games hitting streak to 15 games. Pappas and Kyle Saxman (York, Pa./York Suburban) also had singles to aid the Juniata cause.

Juniata will try to complete the three-game Landmark Conference series sweep of Merchant Marine on Sunday afternoon at 12:00 p.m. on Lower Roosevelt Field.

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