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Juniata baseball swept by Royals in twinbill, 9-4, 4-2

(Posted April 30, 2011)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Starter Matt Regan (Downingtown, Pa./Devon Prep) struck out ten batters in game two, yet the Juniata College offense could not match the University of Scranton, as the Eagles were swept in a Landmark Conference baseball doubleheader (9-4, 4-2), Saturday at Langdon-Goodale Field.

The two losses put Juniata (15-21, 6-11 Landmark) out of the Landmark Conference postseason contention.

Juniata scored first in game one, before Scranton (18-14, 12-5 Landmark) broke away with eight runs in the top of the sixth frame. The Eagles could only respond with two runs in the bottom of the frame and the Royals scored one more in the seventh inning to finish with the 9-4 lead.

Ian Thorne (Germantown, Pa./Seneca Valley) scored the first run of the day, singling to get on first, advancing to second on Dan Gray's (Johnstown, Pa./Richland) hit, and tagging home off of Russ Gray's (Johnstown, Pa./Richland) single. Brad Medellin (Lewisberry, Pa./Red Land) singled to bat in R. Gray, putting the Eagles up 2-0 in the bottom of the fourth.

The Royals' sixth inning flurry started with David Giglio's double to left center. Giglio advanced to third off Tim LeCompte's hit. Michael Gaeta walked and Matt Rayha was hit by a pitch. Jason Lane doubled to bat in Giglio, Rayha, and Gaeta. After two pitcher changes and two walks, Lane came home. Giglio reached on an error, scoring Richard Pohl and Chris Stallone. LeCompte doubled to score Giglio and Manahan, finishing the inning with eight runs, four hits and one error.

Medellin batted in Chris Beall (Blue Bell, Pa./Wissahickon) in the bottom of the sixth frame, who pinch ran for R. Gray. Joe Sforza (Pittstown, N.J./Immaculata) singled through the left side to bring home D. Gray, and trail the Royals 8-4.

Gaeta hit a double in the top of the seventh for Scranton, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt, and scored on Lane's single to close out game one with the win.

Medellin went 1-for-3 at the plate, with two RBI. Senior starter John Love (Loysburg, Pa./Northern Bedford) was charged with the loss, fanning one batter, walking three, on four earned runs and nine hits in five and a half innings of work. The Eagles rotated through four more pitchers to finish out the game.

Giglio went 2-for-4 at the plate, with one run batted in and two runs in game one. Rocky Sawyer struck out six Eagles, with zero walks, two earned runs and six hits.

In game two, Juniata scored first in the bottom of the first frame, Scranton responded with one run in the top of the third, two more in the top of the fifth, and one in the top of the seventh to put themselves in the lead 4-1.

The bottom of the seventh became a nail biter for the Eagles, as Johnny Martinez (Mount Union, Pa./Mount Union) walked on a bases loaded to bring home pinch runner Beall. With three runners left on base two Eagles struck out looking, falling just two runs short of the Royals (4-2).

Ben Mersky (Hershey, Pa./Hershey) went 1-for-2, scoring one run in game two. Regan pitched all seven innings and along with fanning ten batters, he walked one and had just one earned run

Rayha went 2-for-3 at the plate and scored two runs for the Royals in the second game. Robert Della Polla was credited with the win, striking out six batters, walking four, with two earned runs and five hits.

Juniata closes out the three-game series against Scranton on Sunday, May 1, at noon with a single nine-inning game.

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