MIFFLINTOWN - "A total collapse."
That was the way Juniata coach Nick Beward described his team's Mountain League outing against Bald Eagle Area Friday.
The Indians got through the first three innings virtually unscathed and looking at a 2-0 deficit to the Eagles. However, regulation calls for seven innings of play. And the fourth and fifth innings were not to Juniata's liking.
Sentinel photo by BUFFIE?BOYER
Juniata’s Dakota Zook slams the ball to the outfield against Bald Eagle Area during their Mountain League game Friday in Mifflintown.
Bald Eagle Area put up five runs in the fourth inning and six runs in the fifth to blow past Juniata, 13-1, in five innings.
"We hit the fourth inning and that was it," Beward said following the loss.
The Indians would have been out of the two horrid innings if it weren't for a few mental errors. But instead, the home team failed to limit the damage in the loss.
IF YOU GO
* Juniata hosts West Perry today.
Juniata's Seth Bowersox took the ball to start the game for the Indians and the righty looked good. Bowersox gave up a sacrifice fly in the first and an RBI double in the second. But most importantly, he was keeping Juniata in the game.
"Seth Bowersox came out and did real well in the beginning," Beward said. "He mixed in his off-speed pitches real well and kept them off balance."
The first run the Eagles scored was off an unfortunate bounce after a Bryan Greene single to left fielder Colton Shertzer. Greene made his way to third and then was driven in by Logan Reese's deep fly to center.
A 1-2-3 inning for Bowersox in the third had the Bald Eagles right where the Indians wanted them. Down 2-0, Juniata was still in the game and just needed some offense to get going. However, that was a struggle from the beginning.
Prior to scoring a run in the fifth, the biggest threat for Juniata was in the opening frame. Ross Cook opened the inning with a first-pitch single. With one out, he was moved over to second on Dakota Zook's ground out.
After Skyler Welfley walked, Dustin Burd hit a hot shot right down to third base, but it was snagged by Ryan Dyke to end the threat.
In the second, Juniata got runners on second and third with two outs thanks to a Steven Zearfaus single and Colt Brackbill reached on an error. Cook then grounded out to end the inning and leave the game 2-0.
"Offensively we just couldn't get anything going," Beward said. "We were a little too aggressive. That could partially be because of me. I always tell them to be aggressive. We might have to start to get a little more picky."
Bowersox failed to record an out in the fourth inning. It started with a missed infield pop fly. Doubles by Don Cox and Dyke were sandwiched around a pair of walks. That was it for Bowersox, who gave way to Cook.
Cook came in with the bases full of Eagles and managed to limit the damage the best he could. When it was all said and done, the Eagles carried a 7-0 lead into the fifth.
Juniata sent only three batters to the plate in the bottom of the fourth before Bald Eagle Area exploded again in the fifth.
This time, it was the free passes that the Indians failed to avoid. The first four batters reached on a hit batter and a trio of walks. That's when Ty Treaster came in to try and close the door on the Eagles.
Treaster gave up four singles that plated five runs for the Eagles before the fifth was finished.
"We started to not take opportunities to get out of an inning," Beward said. "There was probably a dozen or 15 extra outs that we gave up today. Then we started walking guys."
Zook collected the fourth hit of the day for the Indians in the fifth with an RBI single to plate the Indians lone run.
Juniata (3-6) is currently in the middle of a tough stretch of ball games against a few good teams. Today the Indians will host West Perry, which comes into the game with an unblemished record. Monday, Juniata travels to Mifflin County to take on the Huskies.
"Tomorrow we will be back," Beward said. "We'll try and get us back to where we've been. This was a tough one."