SELINSGROVE, Pa.- The Juniata baseball team split with visiting Susquehanna, falling 2-0 before winning 11-6, on a warm and sunny Saturday afternoon.
Game one was a pitcher's duel as neither team could generate a ton of offense. Juniata's best chance to score came in the second inning when Isaac Maclay (Belleville, Pa./Mifflin County HS) led off with a single and advanced to second on an error by the left fielder. He advanced to third on a single by Adam Kipp (Mt. Wolf, Pa./Northeastern) but they couldn't get him home.
The River Hawks score twice in the fifth, on a solo homer and later in the inning an RBI single to center.
Juniata looked to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh. With runners at first and second with one out, the River Hawks won when their right fielder caught a fly ball in right and then gunned the runner down trying to tag from second to end the ball game.
Kipp went 6.0 innings, allowing seven hits while striking out four.
Game two saw the Eagle bats get hot early and stay hot as they scored in four of eight innings. Devyn Carper (Altoona, Pa./Altoona Area) doubled down the left field line and Dillion Hippensteel smashed a double to the same spot as he drove in Carper.
Matt Innella (Commack, N.Y. Commack) drew a leadoff walk and Joshua Gery (Pottstown, Pa./Pottstown Senior HS) singled to right while Innella went first to third. Hunter Price (Huntingdon, Pa./Huntingdon Area) doubled to right to drive in the second run of the day. Following a Chris Schreder (Lititz, Pa./Lancaster Catholic) walk, Maclay's two-run single plated Price and Gery as the Eagles led 4-0 through two. In the third, an RBI-double by Price made it 5-0.
Susquehanna got two back in the fourth, but Juniata wasn't done. The bottom of the fifth opened with another Innella walk. A Gery single was misplayed by the center fielder which allowed him to get all the way to third and Innella to score. Price singled him home to push the lead back to three.
The River Hawks put up a four spot in the sixth to pull them within one at 7-6. After both teams didn't score in the seventh and the Eagles denied Susquehanna in the top of the eight, JC pushed three more runs across.
Maclay started it off with a single to left, Larry Corle (Martinsburg, Pa./Central HS) walked before Sam Craig (Mullicahill, N.J./Kingsway Regional) singled drove in Maclay. Innella was intentionally walked to load the bases, but the next two batters were retired. Carper walloped a ball to center for a three-run triple to increase the Eagle lead to five.
Jesse Beeler (Greencastle, Pa./Greencastle-Antrim) entered in the ninth, conceded a single before inducing a flyout to center and striking out the final two batters to seal the win.
The Eagles and the River Hawks will play the final game of the series, tomorrow with first pitch at 11:00 a.m.