Harper tosses a gem to lead Juniata
COCOLAMUS — The combination of timely hitting and pitching from Dawson Harper carried the Juniata Indians over cross-county rival East Juniata, 5-1, in a Tri-Valley League baseball game on Thursday.
“It’s always good to get a win regardless on who you’re playing,” Indians coach Nick Beward said. “Hats off to EJ, those kids will swing the bat. The beginning of the game especially they were putting the ball in play real nice. They don’t quit they’ll keep coming right at you.”
The Indians got the ball rolling in the top of the second where they scored two runs. Jordan Dickinson and Ben Fry went back-to-back with singles. Logan Kehler then moved them over with a sacrifice bunt. after a second out, Carson Kepner came up with a clutch shot to left field bringing in both Dickinson and Fry with a two-run double.
The Tigers were able to cut the lead down in the bottom of the third as Evan Clouser smacked a single to right field that brought in Kolten Martin to make it 2-1.
But that was as close as East Juniata was able to get. Harper only saw three batters in each of the next three innings — in fact, Harper allowed only two hits in the game with Clouser and Tate Jamison each having one.
“Dawson (Harper) is a good pitcher, he keeps everybody off balance,” Tigers coach Justin Martin said. “He keeps mixing it up, makes it difficult for hitters every time he is out there.
“Our team played solid, it was a real clean game,” Martin continued. “Hats off to Juniata, they hit the ball better than we did.”
Harper pitched a complete game for the Indians and in the seven innings of work, collected seven strikeouts and had zero walks throwing 84 pitches.
“Kudos to Dawson Harper on another fantastic outing,” Beward said. “Monday night we went down to Susquenita and he had eight Ks one walk and gave up one hit and he comes back and throws a complete game again. You can’t ask for any more out of him.”
Juniata added two more runs in the top of the fourth as Reinhold launched a double to left center that scored Kehler from all the way from first base. Harper then singled in Reinhold.
The Indians also had a run scored in the top of the fifth as Fry grounded out to second, but managed to bring in Louden Sheaffer.
Reinhold led the Indians at the plate going 2-for-3 with an RBI and a double. Fry and Harper each had a hit in the game as well as an RBI for each.
“The bats at times tonight were good, we went cold for a while then we got hot and some of the times were timely hitting,” Beward said. “We moved some runners in scoring position, we took advantage of it.”
Owen Yorks got the start for the Tigers and pitched six innings.
“(Owen) Yorks did pretty well for us,” Martin said. “They have a good hitting lineup the whole way through the lineup so for him to go out there and get outs like he did. He did pretty well today.”
Juniata is now 11-5 while East Juniata falls to 7-8. Their twice-delayed meeting at Juniata will be played at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Juniata 5, East Juniata 1
Juniata 020 210 0 — 5-10-4
East Juniata 001 000 0 — 1-2-0
WP: Dawson Harper. LP: Owen Yorks. SO: Harper 6 (J); Yorks 2, Evan Clouser (EJ). BB: Yorks 4 (EJ). 2B: Josh Bomberger, Jacob Condo, Grant Reinhold (J). MH: Jordan Dickinson 2-4, Reinhold 2-3 (J). RBI: Harper, Ben Fry, Reinhold (J); Clouser (EJ).