MIFFLINTOWN - The Juniata baseball team did its best to fight off the changing weather and Bellefonte as the Indians sent the game into extras, but they couldn't get the win as the Red Raiders pushed across three runs in the ninth inning to get the win, 8-5, on Wednesday afternoon.
The Mountain League game saw more weather changes than pitching changes, as it rained heavily twice and the sun came out three times. The Indians got off to a slow start as the Red Raiders got a double then an RBI-single by Jordan Fye to take a 1-0 lead in the first inning.
Juniata got two walks in the bottom of the first and second innings but couldn't get a run across and coach Nick Beward took the responsibility for the lack of runs early.
Juniata’s Ty Treaster (29) reaches for the ball as Bellefonte’s Nate Corrigan, center, slides safely into second base Wednesday in Mifflintown. Juniata’s Ross Cook looks on. See more photos online at cu.lewistownsentinel.com.
Sentinel photo by BRADLEY?
"We couldn't come up with that clutch hit that we needed," Beward said. "And I take some responsibility for that as a coach as well, maybe trying to squeeze a bunt to move some runners around and get guys in scoring position to take the lead early would have helped."
In the top of the third, Bellefonte scraped another run across when Dylan Moesch reached on an error, took second on a balk, got to third on a ground out and scored on a single.
Once again the Indians got two runners on in their half of the inning, but couldn't score.
Juniata hosts Bald Eagle Area Friday
The Red Raiders scored again in the fifth when Taylor Smith scored on a Fye single, giving Fye his second RBI of the game. Juniata finally got on the board as Dakota Zook walked and Dustin Burd reached on an error. With two outs, Mark Sorace hit a soft grounder to first, but Moesch picked up his glove too fast and the ball went by, allowing two runs to score.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Indians loaded the bases on a single and two walks. With one out, Skyler Welfley stepped to the plate. Welfley worked a full count before hitting a blast to right, emptying the bases and tying the game at five.
Beward was proud of the clutch hitting shown by the Indians.
"Welfley came up with the big hit and he's been big for us all season. I can't say enough about him as a senior. He's just enjoying being a big part of this team and helping us win," Beward said.
From there, Zook and Smith battled each other in the seventh and eighth innings, keeping the game going. In the ninth, Fye led off for Bellefonte with a single and stole second before Dan Roan brought him in with a double to right field.
Doylan Dietrich then hit a shallow double to left and reached third on a passed ball before Mike Mann struck out and the ball went by the catcher, scoring Dietrich on the throw to first.
The Indians couldn't get a man on in the bottom of the ninth, but that didn't stop Beward from giving his team credit for fighting the entire game.
"The kids still aren't rolling over," Beward said. "They took a team nine innings that we were 15-runned by twice last season, so I'm still proud of these guys regardless of the result of that game. They fought hard from start to finish."
Ross Cook had two singles and a run scored. Zook walked four times in the game and scored twice for the Indians. Fye had two hits, two runs batted in and a run scored and Roan had two singles, a double and a run scored for the Red Raiders.
The Indians are now 3-5 and will host Bald Eagle Area on Friday.