Juniata baseball sweeps Mount Aloysius with two stellar performances

HUNTINGDON, PA. – Juniata College baseball snapped its eight game losing streak with a pair of wins over visiting Mount Aloysius College on Tuesday afternoon at Langdon-Goodale Field. Juniata won game one 7-3 and took the back-end of the double header 8-3.

The Eagles rung up 22 hits on the day, a .379 team batting average, including four doubles, three triples and a senior Russell Gray (Johnstown, Pa./Richland) round-tripper in game one.

Juniata (9-15) posted four runs in the bottom of the first inning, which proved to be enough for the win. Brad Medellin (Lewisberry, Pa./Red Land) got aboard with a walk and was moved around to second from a Dan Gray (Johnstown, Pa./Richland) single. R. Gray doubled into right field to plate his younger brother and Medellin. R. Gray trotted home from third along with Derek Heath (Huntingdon, Pa./Huntingdon), who singled, off a junior Chase Dykstra (Somerset, Pa./Somerset Area) triple into right center.

R. Gray blasted a one-run homer in the fifth and the Eagles tacked up two insurance runs in the sixth to secure the win.

On the mound for Juniata for the entire seven innings was sophomore Joe Sforza (Pittstown, N.J./Immaculata), who earned his second win on the season. Sforza struck out two batters and allowed just five Mount Aloysius (6-16) hits, the least since sophomore Ryan Morrison (Lebanon, Pa./Lebanon Catholic) allowed only three hits in Juniata's 15-0 blowout against Rivier College on March 4.

In game two, Juniata had back-to-back two-run innings in the second and third and topped it off with four runs in the fourth to seal the deal.

The game-winning run developed from a D. Gray infield single, followed by a Sforza single that moved D. Gray into scoring position. D. Gray made his way to third and crossed the plate on a Mountie wild pitch.

It was a designated staff game on the mound for the Eagles, giving Nathan Strom (Ebensburg, Pa./Central Cambria) his second win. Strom pitched three innings and allowed just one hit and one run while fanning a single Mount Aloysius batter. 

Mario DeYulius (Ebensburg, Pa./Central Cambria) got 1.1 innings on the mound and struck out two batters and gave up three hits. Junior Josh Green (Hagerstown, Pa./Clear Spring) hurled 1.2 innings over the fifth and six innings and gave up one run and two hits. Andrew Groninger (McAlisterville, Pa./East Juniata) finished out the contest for the Eagles and only allowed one hit.

Ben Mersky (Hershey, Pa./Hershey) and Russell Gray (Johnstown, Pa./Richland) each logged four hits on the day, with R. Gray smacking in four runs and Merksy crossing the plate on two occasions. D. Gray and Sforza chalked-up three hits, each knocking in a pair of runs.

Medellin, Sforza, Zach Risso (Millville, Pa./Millville), and R. Gray each had a double over the contests, and Dykstra, Mersky and Sforza had one triple apiece.

Juniata stays home this upcoming Friday and Saturday for a three-game Landmark Conference series against Drew University. 

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