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JUNIATA BASEBALL CLINCHEST POSTSEASON BERTH IN DRAMATIC FASHION

(Posted April 29, 2004)

Senior Kodi Hockenberry singled in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning to lead Juniata to a 10-9 victory that clinched Juniata\'s spot in the Commonwealth Conference postseason.


Juniata 10, Susquehanna 9

Huntingdon, Pa. ? The Juniata College baseball team clinched its first berth in the conference postseason since 2001 by scoring tree runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to claim a 10-9 victory over Susquehanna in Huntingdon Thursday afternoon. The win improved Juniata?s record to 20-13 on the season and 13-6 in the Commonwealth Conference. Susquehanna fell to 7-25 on the year and 2-17 in conference play.

On senior day at Langdon Field, senior Kodi Hockenberry (Red Land/Lewisberry) delivered a single to right field that tipped off the glove of the leaping fielder and brought home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth. Juniata scored three runs in the ninth without an out being recorded as the five hitters that came to the plate all singled. Marc Frailey (Middletown/Middletown) led off the rally with a single, then moved to second on base hit from Zach Sternberg (McCaskey/Lancaster). Will Russell (Tyrone Area/Tyrone) dropped a bunt down the third base line that no one could field to load the bases. Pinch hitter Matt Garner (Bellwood-Antis/Bellwood) slapped a single through the right side to bring in two runs and tie the game, setting things up for Hockenberry.

Another senior, Derek Tyson (Penns Valley/Penns Valley) pitched a perfect top of the ninth to earn his third victory of the season.

Eight of Juniata?s 13 conference wins this season have been by one run.

The two teams combined for 32 hits in the game, as they exchanged runs throughout the game. Juniata scored at least once in all but the fifth and seventh innings, and held a 5-2 lead after five innings.

Susquehanna would respond by scoring three runs in the top of the sixth to tie the game at five. Matt Reichard and Adam Donlevie each had an RBI double in the frame as the Crusaders tied it at five.

Juniata answered back with a run in the bottom half to again take the lead by one. Walt Goedkoop (Manheim Township/Lancaster) had a lead-off double, and eventually came home on a infield groundout from Darren Hake (Red Lion/Red Lion) to make the score 6-5.

The Crusaders again had an answer as they loaded the bases with one out. Juniata reliever Eric Bridenbaugh (Central/Martinsburg) fanned one batter to bring up two outs. An infield error brought in the tying run and kept the bases loaded for Reichard who doubled home three runs to put Susquehanna on top 9-6.

The Eagles would take one run off the deficit in the eighth. Hockenberry started it with a double, and came in on a single from David Saintz (Titusville/Titusville). That made the score 9-7 in favor of Susquehanna setting up Juniata?s final-inning rally.

Juniata?s senior third baseman Frailey paced the offense for Juniata going 4-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI. Saintz was 3-for-4 on the game with a pair of runs scored and an RBI. Goedkoop added three hits of his own while scoring a run and driving in a run. Sternberg, Russell and Hockenberry all had two hits as Juniata finished with 19 hits for the game.

Tyson was the fifth pitcher of the game for Juniata. Jayme Fye (Philipsburg/Philipsburg) started on the mound for the Eagles, allowing two runs on six hits in five innings.

Jon Martin got the loss in relief for the Crusaders as he allowed five runs on eight hits in four-plus innings of work. Starter Adam Dick lasted four innings and allowed five runs on 11 hits.

Donlieve was 3-for-5 on the game for Susquehanna while scoring a run and driving in two. Reichard was 2-for-4 with four RBI and two runs scored. Matt Hess, Chris Mothershed and Bob Haile each added two hits for the Crusaders who finished with 13 hits in the game.

Juniata and Susquehanna will finish their three-game set with a doubleheader in Selinsgrove on Saturday.

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