Two Long Balls Lift Pitt.-Greensburg Over JC

Two Long Balls Lift Pitt.-Greensburg Over JC

AUBURNDALE, Fla. – Juniata was unable to recover from Pitt-Greensburg's five-run, lead-changing fifth inning, as the Eagles dropped a 6-4 decision on Wednesday, March 8.

J.D. Weyant (New Paris, Pa./Chestnut Ridge) earned the start for the Eagles, his first of the early season. He sent two Bobcats back to the bench via strikeout. However, two hits and a walk in the inning loaded the bases, putting Juniata in a jam in the top of the first. Weyant forced a groundout to Shane Buss (Warrenton, Va./Highland) at second base, retiring the side before any Bobcats could score.

Devyn Carper (Altoona, Pa./Altoona Area) set the tone for JC's offense with a leadoff double down the left field line in the bottom of the inning. Chris Schreder (Lititz, Pa./Lancaster Catholic) laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Carper over to third for Isaac Kline (Everett, Pa./Bedford). Kline's effective groundout scored Carper and Juniata held an early 1-0 lead.

In the top of the second, Weyant threw a one-two-three inning, forcing three fly outs. Following the scoreless top of the inning, Juniata extended its lead to 3-0. After Hunter Price (Huntingdon, Pa./Huntingdon Area) knocked a one-out single up the middle, Cameron Livingston (Blairsville, Pa./Blairsville) reached third on his RBI-double because of a throwing error by Pitt.-Greensburg's leftfielder. Carper then hit a sacrifice fly to the centerfielder to score Livingston from third.

Pitt.-Greensburg scored its first run in the top of the third, but Weyant once again escaped a bases-loaded jam with a strikeout and groundout to Kline at shortstop. 

The score 3-1, both teams were held hitless in their next ups. Price broke the hitless streak with a two-out base hit to right center in the bottom of the fourth, but he was caught stealing second to retire the side.

In the top of the fifth, the Bobcats gained the lead with a grand slam that was followed by a solo homerun. After those two long balls, Weyant's day was over and Austin Suders (Marion, Pa./Chambersburg Area) came in for relief. Suders helped get the two outs that JC needed to end the inning. The Bobcats led the Eagles 6-3.

Weyant's final line: four innings pitched, six hits, six runs, five earned, three walks, five strikeouts and two homeruns. The junior threw 84 pitches, 54 of them for strikes.

Juniata tacked on one more run in the bottom of the sixth. Adam Kipp (Mt. Wolf, Pa./Northeastern) reached first on his base hit through the right side. He advanced to third on Matt Innella's (Commack, N.Y./Commack) two-out double to left. Taking advantage of a Bobcat error, Price reached first as Kipp scored for the Eagles.

Suders shut down the Bobcat offense, allowing only two hits and one walk. He threw two three-up, three-down innings. However, the Eagles were unable to regain their offensive momentum and fell to Pitt.-Greensburg 6-4. 

Juniata, now 2-9, plays Grove City on Thursday, March 9, at 12:30 p.m.