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Opportunistic Indians top Wildcats

Sentinel photo by MIKE GOSS
Juniata’s Josh Bomberger reaches out for home plate as Greenwood’s catcher Gage Wirth reaches out to make the successful tag on a close play at the plate.

MIFFLINTOWN–Solid pitching and timely defense was enough for Juniata to get past Greenwood by the final score of 7-2 in a Tri-Valley League baseball game, on Tuesday.

“Pitching for us was great,” Indians coach Nick Beward said. “Logan will admit he got off to a slow there in the first inning, but he buckled down and worked his way through the innings. Will came in a real tough situation–bases loaded–and worked out of it. The pitchers kept us in this game the whole way.”

The Wildcats got on the scoreboard first in the top of the first inning when Isaac Myers singled to left center that brought home Ethan Jezewski to give the a 1-0 lead.

The Juniata defense came up big in the frame as before the Wildcats go on the board, the Indians managed to turn a 6-4-3 double play.

After taking the 1-0 lead, Greenwood had the bases loaded and looked to add more runs in the frame, but a stellar defensive play by third baseman Will Orwig limited the damage ro a single run. Orwig made a diving stop and tagged third base to end the inning.

“That was huge. We limited that inning that could have been a big inning for them,” Beward said. “And we were able to knock those down and get out of it with just one run.”

The Indians responded in the bottom half of the first inning, scoring four runs in the frame. Two of those runs came on back-to-back errors at third base which allowed Josh Bomberger to score to tie the game and for Jacob Condo to reach base.

Will Orwig then came in to bat and smacked a single to center to bring home Condo. Then starting pitcher Logan Kehler helped his own cause and hammered one deep to right field for a triple and scoring Orwig all the way from first base. Brayden Pannebaker then came on to courtesy run for Kehler who was later drove in by Paul Ames who singled to left making it a 4-1 ball game.

“It was huge, you have to set the tone from the beginning of the game,” Beward said. “If you don’t, its going to be a long night for ya. Not that you can’t come back, but you need to set the tone early and we did tonight.”

Juniata added in another run in the bottom of the second as Bomberger singled down the third base line to bring home Dawson Harper, extending the lead to 5-1.

Greenwood was able to chip away at the Juniata lead in the top half of the third inning as Tyler Sherman singled to left to bring home Avery Morder, cutting it to a 5-2 lead.

One of the key moments in the game came in the top of the fourth inning as with only one out in the inning Greenwood had the bases loaded forcing the Indians to pull out Kehler and replace him with Orwig, who managed to catch Morder looking on a 2-2 pitch, before getting Sherman to ground out to short to leave the bases loaded and allowing no runs to cross in the inning.

Juniata kept the momentum going in the bottom half of the fourth as Bomberger nailed a triple to the right center gap that brought home Logan Pannebaker.

The final run of the game came in the bottom half of the fifth inning when Orwig singled to right scoring Condo.

Orwig was 3-for-3 at the plate for Juniata including an RBI. Kehler and Bomberger each went 2-for-3 with an RBI for the game.

“We were definitely aggressive more than we’ve been lately,” Beward said about his team’s offensive performance. “The last two games we’ve been very aggressive at the plate. We’ll take it when we can get it.”

Kehler got the start on the mound for Juniata going three and a third innings with two strikeouts and three walks. Orwig collected the save for the Indians pitching the final three and two-thirds innings with one strikeout and a walk.

Juniata moves up to (4-11, 4-9) and will look to make it two in a row on Thursday as the Indians will travel to play against cross-county rival East Juniata.

Juniata 7, Greenwood 2

G 101 000 0–2-7-5

J 410 110 X–7-10-3

WP: Logan Kehler. LP: Austin Murphy. SV: Will Orwig. SO: Kehler 2, Orwig (J); Murphy, Avery Morder (G). BB: Kehler 3, Orwig (J); Sam Myers (G). 3B: Josh Bomberger, Kehler (J). MH: Bomberger 2-3, Orwig 3-3, Kehler 2-3 (MU); Ethan Jezewski 2-3, Kolby Seibert 2-4 (G). RBI: Bomberger, Orwig, Kehler (J); Isaac Myers (G).

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