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Pitching carries Eagles over Juniata

Errors mount up for Indians in 6-1 defeat

Sentinel photo by MIKE GOSS
Line Mountain’s Braydon Boyer is nailed at the plate by Juniata’s catcher Seth Laub.

MIFFLINTOWN–Line Mountain’s Brock Wirt hasn’t logged many innings on the mound this season, but on Wednesday afternoon against Juniata, he pitched like an ace.

Behind Wirt’s complete-game five-hitter, the Eagles defeated the Indians 6-1 in a Tri-Valley League matchup.

Wirt struck out seven batters and worked his way around trouble, not allowing the Indians to cash in on their limited opportunities.

“We’re failing to come up with big hits in clutch situations–with runners in scoring position. That seems to be the trend lately,” Juniata coach Nick Beward said.

Dawson Harper got the nod for Juniata and put forward a solid effort, but was hampered by the defense behind him. The Indians committed six errors total and at least one in four innings. The Eagles scored all six of their runs during the innings in which the Juniata defense made an error.

The first Indians’ miscue of the ball game came from Dawson himself, as he attempted a pick off a runner at second, but fired the ball into center field. KI Phillips advanced to third and Owen Keim drove him in on a sacrifice fly to right for the game’s first run.

In the third, Wirt reached on an error by the Indians’ shortstop and attempted to steal second during the next at bat. The throw from the catcher sailed into center field and Wirt reached third safely. Phillips drove in Wirt with an RBI single down the left-field line as the Eagles took a 2-0 lead.

“They were costly,” Beward said about his team’s errors. “We didn’t do enough… we were able to keep it managable, but (we had) too many errors.”

The Indians scored their lone run of the game in the bottom of the third as Jordan Dickinson walked to lead off the inning and advanced to third on a single Josh Bomberger. Jacob Condo pulled a base hit between the shortstop and third baseman to plate Dickinson.

The score remained 2-1 until the Eagles went on the attack in the sixth. Seth Wolfe ripped a double into left-center field and was driven in by the following batter, Rhett Klinger, on a single to left. Klinger stole second and scored on an error by the Indians’ shortstop to increase Line Mountain’s lead to 4-1.

The Eagles added two more insurance runs in the top of the seventh, which proved to be more than enough for Wirt, who got stronger as the game went on.

“He keeps (his pitches) around the plate. Kudos to him,” Beward said. “He did a good job. I know he hasn’t pitched many innings but tonight, he was effective.”

In the final four innings, the Indians only managed to get two runners on base. Paul Ames singled in the fourth and Will Orwig smacked a single of his own in the seventh.

Harper pitched six innings, allowing three earned runs while striking out a pair. He helpled Juniata stay withing striking distance for most of the game, but the Indians were unable to muster any run support.

“Dawson is going to keep you in every game he throws,” Beward said. “I would’ve loved to see him go one more inning, but he was out of pitches.”

Juniata will look to wake its bats up on Friday as they travel to take on Halifax.

Line Mountain 6, Juniata 1

LM 101 002 2–6-8-2

J 001 000 0–1-5-6

WP: Brock Wirt. LP: Dawson Harper. SO: Wirt 7 (LM); Harper 2 (J). BB: Wirt (LM); Harper 4 (J). 2B: KI Phillips, Seth Wolfe (LM). MH: Phillips 2-4, Wolfe 2-4 (LM); Jacob Condo 2-3 (J). RBI: Phillips, Owen Keim, Wolfe, Rhett Klinger (LM); Condo (J).

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