(Posted April 8, 2005)

Juniata 14, Albright 10

Huntingdon, Pa. ? Three days after shutting out Lebanon Valley in both games of a doubleheader, the Juniata College baseball team nearly blanked Albright as well before late-inning struggles for both teams led to a dramatic finish, Friday afternoon at Langdon Field.

The Eagles took a 7-0 lead into the seventh inning, saw that lead shaved to two, and then exploded for seven runs in the eighth to knock off the visiting Lions. The win improves Juniata?s record to 17-9 overall and 9-4 in the Commonwealth Conference, two games up in the win column on Albright and Widener for the top spot in the conference. Albright falls to 12-9 overall and 7-3 in the conference with the loss.

Juniata got off to a quick start in the first inning when Dan Kauffman (Penn Manor/Conestoga) homered off Albright starter Jordan Boyer. The Eagles would get another run off Boyer in the second when Darren Hake?s (Red Lion/Red Lion) groundout scored Will Russell (Tyrone/Tyrone).

Juniata widened its lead in the third, scoring four more runs off Boyer. The home team loaded the bases with no outs for Walt Goedkoop (Manheim Township/Lancaster), who continued his impressive hitting with a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring David Saintz (Titusville/Titusville) from third. Russell followed Goedkoop with a two-RBI double. He wouldn?t be on base long, however, as Matt Garner (Bellwood-Antis/Bellwood) followed with an RBI single to move in front 6-0.

Juniata starting pitcher Andrew Snyder (Punxsutawney/Punxsutawney) kept the visitors at bay for 6 2-3 innings. The freshmen gave up just one run while allowing just five hits and striking out nine.

Albright got back into the game with a four-run eighth inning, capitalizing on two Juniata errors. Justin Holland hit a two-run homer to start the inning. Two Albright base runners would reach on Juniata errors, and then eventually score.

The Eagles came roaring back in the bottom half of the inning, scoring seven runs in a variety of ways. After giving up seven runs, Boyer was replaced by David Omler to start the inning. Zach Sternberg (McCaskey/Lancaster), batting third, hit an RBI single. Then, with two outs and the bases loaded, Omler hit Troy Beaver (Bellwood-Antis/Bellwood) with a pitch, scoring another run. Jason Enoch (Hempfield/Landisville) then scored on a wild pitch and Kaufman was hit by a pitch, loading the bases again. Goedkoop finally drew a bases loaded walk to score another run. Russell then capped off the inning in a more traditional way. Nate Ottaviani entered in relief of the struggling Omler and Russell welcomed him to the game by roping a bases-clearing double to left field.

Russell finished the game with a team-high five RBIs on 4-for-4 hitting.

Albright would make a valiant effort to climb back into the game in the top of the ninth, scoring five runs, helped along by a pair of Juniata errors. But Paul Evans (Huntingdon/Huntingdon) managed to get the last two outs in relief, clinching the win for Juniata.

Goedkoop and Sternberg helped the cause with a pair of RBIs apiece in the game. Kaufman also had a solid day at the plate with three hits, including the first inning home run.

Snyder earned the win to improve to 2-0 on the season. Boyer, now 2-2, was charged with the loss.

Juniata returns to action Saturday when the Eagles travel to Albright for an afternoon doubleheader.


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Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.