(Posted April 11, 2011)

ALTOONA, Pa. -- Juniata College baseball dropped 11-10 in game one of a rollercoaster double header against non-conference opponent Penn State Altoona, before game two was called due to weather, on Monday afternoon at Stewart Athletic Field.

Juniata took a 4-1 lead after the top of the fourth inning, however Penn State Altoona scored seven runs in the bottom of the frame in response. The Eagles scored two more runs in the sixth and fought hard for the comeback in the seventh, scoring four runs, yet the Lions got the final out and clinched the win.

Game two was called due to rain in the bottom of the fourth inning when the Eagles were leading 7-4.

In the top of the fourth of game one, Juniata's Cole Walters (Mount Union, Pa./Mount Union) singled and advanced to second on a passed ball to start off the offense. Andrew Hirsch (Annandale, Va./Falls Church) walked and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Walters moved to third on a wild pitch and Chase Dykstra (Somerset, Pa./Somerset Area) walked. Matt Fritz (Schnecksville, Pa./Parkland) doubled to score Hirsch and Walters then advanced to third on a passed ball. Dykstra scored on a passed ball then Fritz scored on a passed ball to put the Eagles up 4-1.

Ryan Pollicino started the Lions' seven-run sequence off an RBI single, while Nate Bennett and John Schall scored on an error to tie up the game 4-4. Pollicino later scored off a wild pitch, then Tom Kelly hit an RBI single and Grady Luzier doubled in two more runs to get ahead 8-4.

After a 30-minute rain delay, Bennett stole home off a double steal and Jimmy Baum hit a two-run homer to put the Lions ahead 11-4 in the bottom of the fifth inning.

In the top of the sixth, Benjamin Mersky (Hershey, Pa./Hershey) got on base when hit by a pitch and he later stole second. John Martinez (Mount Union, Pa./Mount Union) singled to left field to bring home Mersky. Dan Gray (Johnstown, Pa./Richland) flied out to centerfield and Walters reached on a Lion error to score Martinez and trail the Lions 11-6.

Mersky plated Joe Sforza (Pittstown, N.J./Immaculata) off a sacrifice fly in the Eagle seventh and Ian Thorne (Germantown, Pa./Seneca Valley) brought home Fritz on his double. Martinez's two-out, two-run homer to center field scored Thorne to cut the Lion's lead 11-10.

Martinez went 2-for-4 to lead Juniata at the plate, scoring two runs and three RBI.

Four Juniata pitchers saw time on the mound against Penn State Altoona. Starter Matt Regan (Downingtown, Pa./Devon Prep) fanned five batters on one hit, one run, one earned run and one walk in three innings. John Love (Loysburg, Pa./Northern Bedford) relieved Regan and was charged with the loss with five runs, one earned, on three hits and two walks. Nate Burkey (Alexandria, Pa./Juniata Valley) and Andrew Groninger (McAlisterville, Pa./East Juniata) finished out the game for Juniata.

Reliever Josh Clark was credited for Penn State Altoona's win as he walked just two Eagle batters, entering the game as the Lions grabbed an 8-4 lead.

The Eagles will host a three-game Landmark Conference series against the United States Merchant Marine Academy this Saturday, Apr. 11 First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 pm. The first pitch of game three on Sunday, Apr. 12 is scheduled for 12:00 pm.


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