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Juniata baseball plays spoiler in Gettysburg's home opener with 12-6 win over Bullets

(Posted March 22, 2011)

GETTYSBURG, Pa. -- Juniata College baseball pounded out 12 runs on a season-high 15 hits and upended Gettysburg College's home debut with a 12-6 win over the Bullets, Tuesday afternoon at Kirchhoff Field.

Juniata (7-7) plated four runs in the fifth and eight more in the sixth to build a commanding lead over Gettysburg (6-9), then held off the Bullets from there.

Meanwhile, Eagle starter Ryan Morrison (Lebanon, Pa./Lebanon Catholic) scattered eight hits while yielding just three runs over six complete innings of work to earn the win. Relievers Andrew Groninger (McAlisterville, Pa./East Juniata), Josh Green (Hagerstown, Pa./Clear Springs) and Ben Sealy (Seneca Falls, N.Y./Mynderse Academy) each pitched one inning in relief to preserve the win.

After spotting the Bullets a run in the bottom of the fourth, the Eagles plated four runs in the fifth on five hits, keyed by Ben Mersky's (Hershey, Pa./Hershey) two-run double down the right field line. That scored Andrew Hirsch (Annandale, Va./Falls Church), who reached on a leadoff single, and Matt Fritz (Schnecksville, Pa./Parkland), who got aboard with a double.

Johnny Martinez (Mount Union, Pa./Mount Union) and Dan Gray (Johnstown, Pa./Richland) each had RBI singles later in the inning.

Gettysburg got two of those runs back in the bottom of the fifth, with runs crossing on singles by Pat Cody and Cam Riera.

However Juniata broke the 4-3 game wide open in the sixth with an eight-run uprising, taking seven hits and one Gettysburg error. Martinez and Ian Thorne (Germantown, Md./Seneca Valley) each stroked two-run singles - Martinez's throught the right side and Thorne's down the right field line. Hirsch laced a single into center field to drive in a run, while Russel Gray (Johnstown, Pa./Richland) had a base hit to third that allowed another run to cross.

Nine Juniata batters got the plate before Gettysburg recorded an out, and a total of 13 Eagles batted in the inning.

The Bullets put up one run in the eighth, with Chris Simard crossing for an unearned run on a two-out single to second that resulted in an error charged to Juniata. Two more Gettysburg runs followed in the ninth, but it was not enough for the Bullets to overtake the Eagles.

Martinez finished 3-for-6 at the plate with three RBI and a stolen base, while Hirsch tallied a 3-for-4 day with one run batted in. Russel Gray and Dan Gray each had a pair of hits, as did Fritz and Mersky.

Juniata is scheduled to return to the diamond at home on Thursday, March 24, when they host Pitt-Bradford in a non-conference doubleheader. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.

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