By: Laura Chapman
Assistant Sports Information Director
email@example.com • juniatasports.net
AUBRUNDALE, Fl. – The Juniata College baseball team pounded out 18 hits and scored 14 runs on its way to two seven-inning wins over Waynesburg College, 8-4 and 6-1, to improve to 3-7 on the year. Senior Joe Sforza (Pittstown, N.J./Immaculata) went 3-for-3 with three runs batted in and three runs scored as the pitcher in game one before finishing off the day 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored as the designated hitter in the afternoon.
Juniata scored first in game two after senior shortstop Derek Heath (Huntingdon, Pa./Huntingdon Area) led off the bottom of the first with a walk, followed by a double from senior second basemanBrad Medellin (Lewisberry, Pa./Red Land), and came around to score on an RBI from Sforza. The second baseman was 5-for-7 on the day with five runs scored.
Medellin and Sforza hit back-to-back singles to lead off the bottom of the third for the Eagles. Medellin scored on bunt from junior center fielder Cody Krepps (Tyrone, Pa./Bellwood-Antis) and Sforza came around to make it 3-0 Juniata on a sacrifice file from sophomore third baseman Kyle Pannebaker (Tyrone, Pa./Bellwood-Antis). Between the two games, Krepps had three hits, three runs scored, and three RBI.
The offense continued its strong output for the day with two more runs in the Juniata half of the fifth. Medellin and Sforza made it runners at the corners with no outs for Krepps. After pinch runner senior Chris Fulton (West Chester, Pa./Unionville High School) stole second, Krepps grounded out to first to score Medellin from third. Fulton scored for the 5-0 lead on a sacrifice fly out by senior catcher Dan Gray (Johnstown, Pa./Richland).
In the bottom of the sixth, junior left fielder Nick Stubbs (Hagerstown, Md./South Hagerstown) drew a leadoff walk and scored on an RBI by Heath. Freshman pitcher Eric Grace (Hopewell, Pa./Northern Bedford) sat down the first 10 batters he faced, tossing six complete innings, only allowing four hits, striking out three, and surrendering no runs for the win. Senior David Smyers(Pittsburgh, Pa./Central Catholic) pitched the final frame, allowing just one hit and giving up Waynesburg lone run in the seven-inning contest.
In the morning game, the Eagles ripped 11 hits, scoring eight runs, all of them earned, on their way to the second win of the season. Juniata wasted no time getting on the board in the top of the first after a triple by Medellin and an RBI single to right by Sforza made it 1-0 Eagles.
The Yellow Jackets responded in force in the bottom of the second, scoring four runs before Sforza was able to induce back-to-back fly outs to end the threat. Juniata would not lie down and started the top of the next inning with a single by sophomore Sheridan Doan (Timonium, Md./Dulaney High School). The left fielder came around to score on a double to left center by Sforza. The Eagles didn't stop there with Sforza coming around to score on a single from Krepps, who crossed the plate a batter later on a single up the middle by Pannebaker
Juniata scored three more in the top of the fifth on a two-RBI double by Pannebaker, who came around to score on the RBI by Gray. The Eagles tacked on one more insurance run in the top of the sixth on a single to third by Sforza scoring Medellin for the 8-4 victory.
On the mound, Sforza and Smyers shut down the Waynesburg offense, not allowing a run through the final 5.2 innings. Sforza threw six complete innings giving up four earned runs on 10 hits and striking out four to earn his first win of the season. Smyers faced four batters in the bottom of the seventh to finish the game for Juniata.
The Eagles have one final game in the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational, Wednesday March 12 at 9:30 a.m., before returning home for the Landmark Conference opener against Susquehanna University, Saturday March 15 at 1 p.m.
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