Tigers rout Indians in TVL clash
MIFFLINTOWN — After a frustrating stretch where the Tigers had lost two of their last three games entering the week, East Juniata exacted its revenge against cross-county rival Juniata on Monday afternoon.
The Tigers (4-3) stopped the skid by pounding out 17 hits on the way to a 13-2 victory in five innings over the Indians (1-6) at Juniata High School.
East Juniata coach Justin Martin said that the team felt tense its last few times out and taking a step back allowed the Tigers to work through some of their struggles.
“We struggled with Susquenita in our last game on Saturday and I asked the kids what they thought was going on, and they said that they felt stressed out, so we tried to lighten things up and let them have some fun,” Martin said. “I told them to go and play some wiffleball and it seems to have paid off because we really hit the ball today. I was pretty proud of them.”
East Juniata struck for four runs in the opening inning, which was more than enough for Daniel Kanagy, who threw a complete game, allowed just three hits and struck out 10 without surrendering a walk.
“Daniel is always going to be strong for us on the mound,” Kanagy said. “He’s a top-notch pitcher.”
Kanagy also proved to be a valuable asset at the plate, going 3-for-3 at the plate with two doubles and three RBIs.
“We never recovered,” Juniata coach Nick Beward said of the Tigers’ first-inning surge. “When you give up four runs in the first inning it’s hard to bounce back from that sometimes. We had one inning where we showed a little bit of promise. They never quit and there’s no quit in them, they played to the end. The coaching staff gives them credit for that.”
The top part of East Juniata’s lineup reached base 13 times in the victory. Jadyn Martin had an RBI ground-rule double to center field in the fourth inning and drove in runs on a groundout and a sacrifice fly to center in the third inning. Aaron Kanagy had two RBIs, while Trey Tusing, Kobe Bonnell and Blake Liddington each drove in a run in the victory.
“They really hit the ball,” Martin said. “There’s not much more I can say. We had 17 hits so it’s pretty impressive. When you get 17 hits you’re going to string a couple of them together, but it’s always good to be able to do that and to be able to trade places on second base to score some runs.”
Juniata’s best opportunity came in the third inning as Dawson Harper started the frame with a single into left field, before Jacob Condo reached on a fielder’s choice and an error by East Juniata’s shortstop moved Harper to third base. Harper later scored on a passed ball and Condo later scored on a sacrifice fly by Jace White for Juniata’s only offense of the day.
It was a tough afternoon for Juniata’s pitchers, as Will Orwig, Paul Ames and Ben Fry combined to give up 13 runs on 17 hits, while striking out five East Juniata batters. Fry threw well in the fifth, throwing the only scoreless inning of the day for the Indians. Fry gave up two singles but the inning ended as the Tigers’ Aaron Kanagy was gunned down at the plate trying to score from second by Indian’s center fielder Logan Kehler.
“You have to give them credit,” Beward said. “They came out and swung the bat and they hit today. Every single thing they hit seemed to find a gap. I could tell that the luck was against our side when (Jacob Condo) hit that ball down the right field line and when it landed just foul, I knew it was going to be one of those kinds of days. They wanted it more than we did.”
East Juniata hits the road for the second game of a three-game road trip on Wednesday to face Halifax, while Juniata hosts Newport on Wednesday.
Beward is hoping that the Indians can shake off a rough stretch through the first third of the season.
“It’s not going to get any easier,” Beward said. “We play Newport on Wednesday and they are rolling after coming out of quarantine. Everyone is a tough out in this league.”
East Juniata 13, Juniata 2
EJ 431 50X X — 13 17 2
JUN 002 00X X — 2 3 2
WP: Daniel Kanagy. LP: Will Orwig. SO: Kanagy 10 (EJ); Orwig 3, Paul Ames 2 (J). BB: Orwig 1, Paul Ames 1 (EJ). 3B: Evan Clouser (EJ). 2B: Daniel Kanagy 2, Jadyn Martin, Kobe Bonnell, Aaron Kanagy (EJ); Cody Fornwalt (J). MH: Clouser 3-3, Daniel Kanagy 3-3, Trey Tusing 2-4, Aaron Kanagy 2-4, Blake Liddington 2-4 (EJ); Dawson Harper 2-3 (J). RBI: Daniel Kanagy 3, Martin 3, Aaron Kanagy 2, Tusing 1, Bonnell 1, Liddington 1 (EJ); Jace White 1 (J).