(Posted March 18, 2010)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. â?" The Juniata College baseball team dropped a pair of games to the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, at Langdon-Goodale Field, Thursday afternoon. Game one ended 10-8 while the Eagles dropped game two, 8-6.

Game one had the teams deadlocked at 3 apiece entering the sixth inning, but seven runs in the last two innings by the Bobcats was too much to overcome.

Juniata fell behind 3-0 early, but it was one run in the second, and two more in the third that drew them back even for the game.

The Eagles third innings started with a one out single into left field by senior Andrew Kriss (Forrest Hills, Md./John Carroll). Continuing to run hard, Kriss found himself at second base following an error by the left fielder. Senior Ian Thorne (Germantown, Pa./Seneca Valley) reached on an error, then Kriss and Thorne promptly swiped second and third.

John Martinez's (Mt. Union, Pa./Mt. Union) hard ground ball to second squirted through the legs of the second baseman, scoring both Kriss and Thorne, knotting the game at 3-3.

Marty Hauck (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman) took the loss while pitching five and a third innings, giving up seven runs (four earned), and striking out three. Josh Green (Hagerstown, Md./Clear Springs) threw the remaining 1.2 innings, giving up four hits and three runs.

Game two featured three different leads for Juniata (1-10), but the Eagles were unable to keep the momentum. Three runs in the sixth inning for the Bobcats was the deciding factor.

The Eagles took the lead in the bottom half of the first inning after freshman Chase Dykstra (Somerset, Pa./Somerset Area) doubled down the third baseline to lead off the inning. Kriss followed that up with a single, bumping Dykstra over to third. Kriss stole second base, and as the throw from the catcher bounced into center field, Dykstra trotted home.

With Kriss on third after a wild pitch, senior Greg Hoffman (Phoenix, Md./Dulaney) hit a sacrifice fly to center, plating Kriss.

They took the lead again in the third, with two runs in the inning. Dykstra led off with a perfect bunt down the third base line. After stealing second, he was able to waltz home following a deep double by Kriss to left centerfield. Two batters later, with Kriss on third, Hoffman hit another sacrifice fly, deep enough to score Kriss.

Pitt-Greensburg (4-5) was able to tie the score at 4-4 with a run in the fifth, but back came the Eagles once again, and it started with two outs and the bases empty.

Martinez lined a doubled to right center to start things off. Hoffman stepped to the plate, and hit a deep fly ball over the head of the centerfielder, switching places with Martinez.

But the Bobcats swung the momentum in their favor as they put a three spot on the board in the top of the sixth. They added another in seventh to distance themselves for the final outcome.

Junior Chad Kulik (Johnstown, Pa./Richland) threw the first five innings, allowing four runs on five hits, before handing the ball over to junior Nate Burkey (Alexandria, Pa./Juniata Valley). He pitched the final two innings, allowing four runs on six hits, garnering the loss.

Kriss ended the day with four hits, while Martinez, Hoffman, and Dykstra all had three hits each. Hoffman ended the day with five RBI's, while Kriss crossed the plate on five separate occasions.

The Eagles remain home and open their Landmark Conference schedule on Saturday, March 20, with a doubleheader against Moravian College. First pitch will be thrown at 1 p.m.


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