(Posted April 7, 2006)

Juniata 3, Messiah 2

HUNTINGDON, Pa. ? Steven Wilk (Blairsville/Hollidaysburg) delivered a game-winning two-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to propel the Juniata College baseball team to a comeback victory over visiting Messiah College in Commonwealth Conference action in Huntingdon Friday afternoon. The Eagles are now 13-7-1 on the year and 7-2-1 in conference play, while Messiah fell to 10-16 overall and 3-7 in the Commonwealth.

Trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth, pinch-hitter Josh Lingenfelter (Claysburg-Kimmel/Claysburg) drew a lead-off walk. After a sacrifice bunt and a groundout moved him to third, Wilk blasted his first home run of the season over the leftfield wall to give the Eagles the 3-2 victory.

It was one of just five hits the Eagles managed on the game as the story up to that point had been the pitching duel between Messiah?s Ben Jordan and Juniata?s Jason Enoch (Hempfield/Landisville).

Both pitchers were in control throughout the game as each allowed just five hits overall. Enoch earned the victory as he surrendered no earned runs over nine innings and striking out six. Jordan allowed just the three runs, only two earned, while fanning six Juniata batters.

After stranding runners at third in both the first and second innings, the Falcons pushed across their only two runs in the top of the third. After the lead-off hitter reached on an error, Chris Heisey delivered an RBI infield single that brought in the first run of the contest. A sacrifice fly from Craig Mease knocked in Heisey to give the visitors a 2-0 cushion.

The Eagles answered with one run in the bottom of the inning. Troy Beaver (Bellwood-Antis/Bellwood) doubled with two out. An infield throwing error on the next batter then brought in Juniata?s first run of the game.

From there both pitchers dominated the action as neither offense was able to mount a challenge. Messiah would put another pair of runners on in the fourth but Enoch worked out of that jam and then retired the next 13 hitters in order before a one-out double in the ninth. He then stranded that runner to keep the Eagles within striking distance.

Jordan was just as sharp for Messiah as he kept Juniata at bay until the ninth inning. A two-out double from Wilk in the seventh and the game-winning home run in the ninth were Juniata?s only two hits after the third inning.

Wilk finished the game 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored. Saintz also had a pair of hits for the Eagles in the game. Five different Messiah players finished with one hit in the game.

Juniata and Messiah will complete its three-game series with a doubleheader at Messiah on Saturday.


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