April 23, 2014, HUNTINGDON, Pa. (ISN) – The Juniata College baseball team bounced back from a rough 13-6 loss to Penn St.-Altoona in game one of a doubleheader to dominate the Lions 25-3 in game two, earning a 2-2 split of the 2014 series.
The Eagles managed seven hits in game one to score their six runs, stranding five runners on base, and then pounded out a season-high 24 hits to score a season-high 25 runs in game two, all while still stranding 14 runners.
Senior Joe Sforza (Pittstown, N.J. / Immaculata) came up big for Juniata in game one, going 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored. The third baseman launched a two-run homerun in the bottom of the fifth, scoring senior Brad Medellin (Lewisberry, Pa. / Red Land), to pull the Eagles with four at 9-5. Sophomore leftfielder David DeFreest (Duxburry, Vt. / Harwood Union) also notched two hits for Juniata in game one. DeFreest went 2-for-3 in the game scoring a run in the bottom of the sixth inning after lacing a leadoff double to right field and crossing the plate on a sacrifice fly by senior shortstop Derek Heath (Huntingdon, Pa. / Huntingdon).
Despite the loss in game one, Juniata came roaring back in the final home game of the season. The Eagles gave up six runs in the top of the first of game one and exacted a little revenge when senior pitcher Nathan Strom (Ebensburg, Pa. / Central Cambria) struck out the side to open game two and then Juniata erupted for 10 runs in the bottom of the frame. Strom earned his second win of the season, pitching six complete innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and striking out three.
Juniata sent 15 batters to the plate in the first inning and loaded the bases four times. Sophomore left fielder Sheridan Doan (Timonium, Md. / Dulaney High School) and Medellin each scored twice in the inning. Sophomore catcher Anthony Lombardo (Altoona, Pa. / Altoona Area) drove in two runs with RBI singles and scored once before the third out was made. He finished 3-for-4 in the game with two RBI and two runs scored.
Medellin finished the game 2-for-3 with two runs scored and five runs batted in while Doan went 3-for-5 in the leadoff spot scoring three runs and driving in another four. He was just inches away from a grand slam in the sixth, but an unfortunate gust of wind made the ball bounce off the top of the fence and back onto the field. The Eagles continued to add to their lead as they scored at least one run in every inning. Sophomore catcher Jonathan Geyer (Newport, Pa. / Newport High School) drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the fifth and came around to score the first run of the inning on a fielders’ choice.
Doan dropped a single to center field to score freshman Brendan Hower (New Bloomfield, Pa. / West Perry HS) and load the bases for the third time in the frame. Sophomore Joe Klusman (Wilmington, Del. / St. Elizabeth High School) drove in the third run of the inning on a fielders’ choice scoring sophomore Chris Sinisi (Altoona, Pa. / Altoona Area). Sinisi went 4-for-5 in the game with one walk and scored all six times he reached base while also driving in three runs from the number eight hole.
Sinisi singled up the middle with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the sixth to score sophomore Alex Matoushek (Scranton, Pa. / West Scranton) from third. Freshman Ian Prescott (Newark, Del. / Sanford School) followed up with a walk to force home Hower from third bringing pinch hitter senior Mario DeYulis (Ebensburg, Pa. / Central Cambria) to the plate. DeYulis battled through a long at bat to draw the full-count walk and force home freshman first baseman Wayne Hydak (Northern Versailles, Pa. / Serra Catholic) for the 24th run of the game of the Eagles.
Juniata improved to 8-27 on the year with the win and will travel to The University of Scranton for a single nine-inning game on Friday, April 25, at 3:30 p.m. to finishes the series against the Royals before heading to Kings Point, New York, to take on the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in the final Landmark Conference series of the season. The Eagles will close out the 2014 season on Monday, April 28, with against Pitt.-Greensburg.