(Posted May 11, 2004)

Huntingdon, PA - Juniata College senior Ryan O'Donnell (Lebanon/Lebanon) and sophomore Walt Goedkoop (Manheim Township/Lancaster) were selected as the Commonwealth Conference pitcher and player of the week respectively for their efforts in leading Juniata to the Commonwealth Conference Championship this past week.

O'Donnell pitched just one game in the three-game tournament, but it was a big one as he allowed one run in seven innings to propel Juniata past top seed Messiah College by a 2-1 score. The senior hurler threw 140 pitches, allowing five hits and striking out two in posting a victory that moved Juniata into the championship game of the tournament. O'Donnell pitched out of jams throughout the evening, as Messiah stranded eight base runners over the course of the game.

Goedkoop paced the Juniata offense during the week as he hit safely in all three tournament games. His .500 batting average for the week led the team, while he added three runs scored and an RBI. He was 1-for-3 with two runs scored in Juniata's 10-2 opening-round win over Moravian, then added two hits in the win over Messiah, then added another two in the championship-game victory over Moravian. He drove in one of Juniata's two runs in the victory over Messiah and scored one run in the championship game.

"Ryan has been a dominant pitcher for us this season" Head Coach George Zanic stated. "We've also known he had the stuff to be an outstanding pitcher, but he's really put it all together this season. He came up big in a big game. Walt has been producing for offensively all season and that just continued in the postseason. He has responded wherever we've put him in the lineup and he played extremely well down the stretch for us."

O'Donnell improved to 4-1 in his senior season with the victory over Messiah, and lowered his ERA to 3.83. All of his four victories this season have come against conference opponents. He ranks second on the team in strikeouts with 34 and opponents are batting just .260 against him. Goedkoop leads the Eagles in nearly every offensive category. He is tops on the team in batting average (.352), hits (44), doubles (15), home runs (3) and RBI (26). His 15 doubles this season ties the Juniata single-season record. He also holds a solid .576 slugging percentage and leads the team in on-base percentage.

By earning the Commonwealth Conference Championship Juniata earns a berth in the NCAA Division III Tournament for the first time since the 1990 season. Juniata holds a record of 24-14 on the season, which breaks the school record for wins in a season. This week marks the second consecutive week that Juniata has captured the Commonwealth player and pitcher of the week honors. Juniata will play Frostburg State in a NCAA warm up Saturday at 1 pm. Juniata will learn its tournament fate on Sunday when the NCAA brackets are released.

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