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Baseball carries split out of non-conference twinbill versus Penn State-Altoona

(Posted April 21, 2011)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- A five-run fifth inning provided the difference in Juniata College baseball's 7-6 come-from-behind win over Penn State-Altoona in game two of the teams' Thursday afternoon doubleheader at Langdon-Goodale Field, allowing Juniata to take a split out of the non-conference twinbill.

Juniata (13-17) dropped the first game, 14-4.

After Penn State-Altoona (20-8) took a 2-0 lead in the first inning of game two, Juniata rallied with a pair of runs in the third on three hits, including RBI singles by Brad Medellin (Lewisberry, Pa./Red Land) and Johnny Martinez (Mount Union, Pa./Mount Union).

The Lions retook the lead with two more runs in the fourth and a single run in the fifth, before the Eagle bats got going in the bottom of the fifth.

Two walks and a hit-by-pitch with one out loaded up the bases for Juniata in the fifth, and Thomas Eck's (Columbia, Pa./Lancaster Catholic) two-out walk plated the first Eagle run of the frame. Another bases loaded walk issued to Dan Gray (Johnstown, Pa./Richland) allowed a second run to cross, and Dan Fenton's (Johnstown, Pa./Richland) grounder to short was mishandled enabling two more Juniata base runners to score.

Chase Dykstra (Somerset, Pa./Somerset Area) singled home the final Juniata run of the fifth, giving Juniata a 7-5 lead.

Penn State Altoona scored one run in the seventh on a pair of singles, but reliever Ben Sealy (Seneca Falls, N.Y./Mynderse Academy) came on with two out and forced the final Lion batter to pop up to second base to earn the save.

Starter Will Hoffman (Phoenix, Md./Dulaney) earned the win for his six-and-two-thirds innings start on the mound for Juniata, allowing six runs, all earned, on 11 hits with three walks and three strikeouts.

Medellin and Dykstra each tallied a pair of hits for the Eagles, who touched three Lions pitchers for seven hits total.

In game one, Penn State Altoona pounded out 14 runs on 19 hits, and were aided by four Juniata errors. The Lions scored in every frame but the sixth, including three-run uprisings in the first, second, and seventh innings.

Juniata notched three runs in the bottom of the first, with Ian Thorne (Germantown, Pa./Seneca Valley) plating Ben Mersky (Hershey, Pa./Hershey) on a base hit to left field, and Martinez driving in Thorne on a double down the left field line. Martinez scored on a double play grounder later in the inning.

The Eagles' remaining run came in the fourth, as Joe Sforza (Pittstown, N.J./Immaculata) reached on a leadoff double down the left field line, and scored on Medellin's single into right.

Thorne and Medellin each finished with two hits, while Martinez, Sforza, and Russ Gray (Johnstown, Pa./Richland) had one hit apiece.

Juniata starter Zach Sauble (Williamsport, Md./Williamsport) lasted into the second inning when he was relieved by Mario DeYulius (Ebensburg, Pa./Central Cambria), but Saubel allowed four runs, three earned, on two hits and four walks and was charged with the loss.

DeYulius lasted two-and-two-thirds innings, yielding five runs on eight hits with five walks and a strikeout, before Josh Green (Hagerstown, Pa./Clear Springs) came on in the fourth to finish out the game.

Juniata returns to action on Friday, April 22, when it travels to Selinsgrove, Pa., to face Landmark rival Susquehanna University in a doubleheader to open a three-game series. First pitch of Friday's twinbill is scheduled for 12:00 p.m.

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