(Posted April 2, 2011)

MADISON, N.J. -- Juniata College baseball dominated Landmark Conference opponent Drew University in game one (4-1), yet fell to the Rangers in the eighth inning of game two (4-5), on Saturday afternoon at Doc Young Field.

Ian Thorne (Germantown, Pa./Seneca Valley) did not waste any time getting the offense started as he singled up the middle and advanced to second on a passed ball in the first inning. Johnny Martinez (Mount Union, Pa./Mount Union) walked, Thorne advanced to third on an error by Drew pitcher Tom Koontz. Martinez advanced to third on a balk and Thorne scored to get up 1-0 in the first frame.

The Eagles scored three more runs in the top of the third frame. Sophomore Ben Mersky (Hershey, Pa./Hershey) singled and advanced on an error by Koontz. Thorne singled to bring Mersky home. Martinez got the second play going with a single, Thorne advanced to second. Russel Gray (Johnstown, Pa./Richland) singled to bring in Martinez and Thorne.

Juniata (9-12, 2-6) held the Rangers at bay until their one and only run came in the bottom of the fifth inning off zero hits, and two Eagle errors. Coury Napier walked and stole second, Kyle O'Neill reached on an Eagle error, Napier advanced to third. Napier scored on a Juniata error.

Eagle starter John Love (Loysburg, Pa./Northern Bedford) pitched all seven innings, fanning four Drew batters on six hits with no earned runs. Koontz was charged with the game one loss, fanning one Juniata batter on nine hits and four earned runs.

Thorne went 2-for-3 at the plate, scoring two runs for the Eagles and batting one run in. Martinez went 2-for-2 in game one, scoring one run.

In game two, the Eagles scored first in the third frame and again in the top of the fourth. Mersky doubled down the left field line to bat in Tom Eck (Columbia, Pa./Lancaster Catholic). The second run came in as Martinez singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Sophomore catcher Cole Walters (Mount Union, Pa./Mount Union) batted in Martinez with a single down the left field line.

The Rangers battled back with a run in the sixth and another in the seventh to tie up the game 2-2.

In the eighth inning, Thorne walked and advanced to second on a wild pitch, then Martinez singled to right field to bring Thorne home. Joe Sforza (Pittstown, N.J./Immaculata) stroked a single to bring in Martinez to gain two runs on two hits.

Drew's Michael Bodden hit a homerun and batted in Steven DeBonis. Matthew Kaplon tripled to bring home Justin Mancini to score three runs and close out the eighth inning just one point in front of the Eagles.

Matt Regan (Downingtown, Pa./Devon Prep) fanned nine Drew batters on four hits, three walks, and three earned runs. Ben Sealy (Seneca Falls, N.Y./Mynderse Academy) was charged with the loss as he relieved Regan in the bottom of the eighth.

Alex Taylor was credited with the win for Drew as he struck out one Juniata batter in the eighth on two hits and two earned runs. Evan Martens pitched seven of the eight innings for Drew, shutting out five Eagle batters on seven hits and one earned run.

Martinez went 3-for-4 in game two with two runs and one RBI to lead the Eagles at the plate in game two.

Juniata and Drew will complete their three-game Landmark set on Sunday afternoon with a single nine-inning contest. First pitch is scheduled for 12:00 p.m.


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