Posted: April 6, 2008
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh received an outstanding pitching performance from Andrew Grim in the second game of its doubleheader against Navy on Sunday, and the Mountain Hawks were able to come away with a split on the Goodman Campus. The Midshipmen took the first game 4-2 in seven innings, while Lehigh won 6-5 in the second game. Grim (2-1) pitched five innings of shutout relief, giving up just four hits while striking out three, to lead the Mountain Hawks to the win in the second game. The Brown and White are now 14-18 (1-7) on the year, while Navy is 20-11 (6-2).
“Grim was outstanding for us on the mound today,” said head coach Sean Leary. “We needed someone to step up for us in that second game, and he was able to lead us to the win. Brendan McGaheran also came through with a huge homerun, but Grim really turned the momentum of that game.”
Navy, the designated home team in both of the day’s games, scored the first run in game one on a single to right field by Renaldo Hollins to score Steven Soares in the second inning. The Midshipmen increased their lead to 2-0 in the next inning on a solo homerun to left field by Tom Hamilton.
In the bottom of the fifth Navy added two more runs on a two-run double by Kendall Bolt. The Midshipmen took their 4-0 lead into the seventh, when Lehigh put together a rally and had a chance to tie the game.
The inning did not start off the right way for Lehigh as the first two batters of the inning recorded outs, but Austin Borden kept the game alive on a walk. The next batter, Billy Swenson, hit the ball down the third base line, but Mike Guadagnini’s throw over to first base went wide, and pinch runner Mark Bernhard came around to score from first on the play.
Liam O’Connor added a single up the middle to advance Swenson to third base. Joe Ercolano delivered a single to right field, plating Swenson, and putting Lehigh runners on the corners with two away. Christian Valeriano came into pinch hit, but couldn’t get enough under the ball as he flew out to center field to end the game.
Mitch Harris (1-0) earned the win, surrendering just four hits while striking out eight in five shutout innings. Greg Angelo (1-2) was hit with just his second loss of the year, giving up four runs on eight hits in 5.1 innings.
In the second game, Lehigh pounded out two runs in the top of the first. Joe Ercolano started the scoring by leading the game off with a single to center field, then came around to score on a double to left field by McGaheran. McGaheran scored the second run of the inning for Lehigh on an infield single by Matt Reitz.
Navy wasted no time getting on the board, as Michael Speciale hit a leadoff homerun to right center. Lehigh starter Rob Russell settled down and gave up just two more hits in first and second innings.
The Mountain Hawks increased their lead to 3-1 in the top of the third on a leadoff homerun by Christian Valeriano, his first of the season.
Renaldo Hollins tied the game up at 3-3 in the bottom of the fourth on a two-out two-run triple over Bernhard’s head in right field. Navy took its first lead of the game in the next inning on a two-run homer over the left field fence by Hamilton.
Lehigh took the lead back in the top of the seventh on a two-out three-run homerun by McGaheran, his second of the season. That homerun proved to be the difference maker as Lehigh held on for its first league win of the season.
Yale Eckert (1-3) was credited with the loss, pitching 6.2 innings, surrendering six runs on eight hits, while striking out eight.
The Mountain Hawks return to the diamond on Tuesday when they battle Lafayette in the Liberty Bell Classic championship game. That game is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. from Citizens Bank Park, and can be heard live on Lehighsports.com, with streaming provided by Yahoo! Sports.