Hoffman's RBI single in 10th lifts Juniata baseball past Elizabethtown
(Posted March 20, 2008)
HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Greg Hoffman's (Phoenix, Md./Dulaney) bases loaded single in the bottom of the 10th inning lifted Juniata College to a 15-14 extra-innings victory over Elizabethtown College, in Division III baseball action Thursday afternoon at a windswept Langdon-Goodale Field in Huntingdon, Pa. After a ground out to open the inning, Adam Spadafora (Asbury, N.J./Pennington School) got the offense in motion with a single. Kevin Small (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton North) singled to center field, but the ball was mishandled by Elizabethtown centerfielder Rodney Francis, allowing Spadafora to advance to third. The Blue Jays intentionally walked Eagle slugger Dan Kauffman (Conestoga, Pa./Penn Manor), setting the stage for Hoffman who ended the game by crushing a single to the warning track in left field. The Blue Jays (6-5) had led 11-1 after five-and-a-half innings, when Juniata began its comeback. Juniata (5-6) notched one run in the bottom of the sixth when Steve Wilk (Blairsville, Pa./Blairsville) singled home Hoffman, who reached on a leadoff triple. The Eagles put up five runs in the seventh, including two runs off a Hoffman single that plated Spadafora and Andrew Hirsch (Annandale, Va./Falls Church). The other three runs were forced across on a fielder's choice grounder, a hit-by-pitch, and a walk. The Eagles added four runs in the eighth, with an RBI double to left-center field by John Martinez (Mt. Union, Pa./Mt. Union) and a single by Wilk that scored Hoffman. Martinez eventually crossed the plate on a grounder to second by Andrew Kriss (Forest Hill, Md./John Carroll). Small scored the first run of the inning when he singled to center field, advancing all the way to third on a fielding error by the centerfielder, and eventually scoring on a passed ball. Juniata tied the game in the ninth with three runs, including two runs off a double to right field by Martinez. Spadafora opened the inning with a double, and scored the first Eagle run of the inning on a Small single. Elizabethtown jumped out to a 9-0 lead, including four runs in the first inning, before Juniata got on the scoreboard. Tom Semanek drove in three of the Blue Jays' runs in the first with a two RBI single, which was misplayed by the Juniata leftfielder to allow a third run to cross. A single by Sam Heaps and Jared Auman double forced two more Blue Jay runs across in the second, and both Heaps and Brandon Watson had RBI doubles in the fourth to drive in two more. Auman had the game's only home run in the sixth inning, a two-run shot to straightaway center field. Elizabethtown scored three runs in the seventh inning, including two runs on a Francis single, that briefly stretched the Blue Jay lead to 14-2 at the midway point of the seventh inning. Juniata's Chad Kulik (Johnstown, Pa./Richland) pitched the final two innings for the Eagles, earning his first win of the season. Starter John Love (Loysburg, Pa./Northern Bedford) was lifted with one out in the fourth, after allowing nine earned runs on nine hits. Elizabethtown starter Sam Heaps fanned eight Eagle batters and allowed just two runs on six hits over six innings of work. Blue Jay reliever Chris Minakowski was the third E-town relief pitcher of the game, coming on in the eighth inning to replace Kurt Smith, and allowed four earned to take the loss. Martinez finished the game with five RBI on 3-for-5 hitting, while Hoffman drove in three runs on his 3-for-5 performance. For Elizabethtown, Heaps went 4-for-4 with three RBI, while Auman had four RBI on 3-for-4 hitting. Juniata returns to action on Friday afternoon when it hosts Drew University in a Landmark Conference doubleheader at Langdon-Goodale Field. -30-
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