Posted: March 7, 2009
LAKE WORTH, Fla. – Lehigh fell victim to another team in Florida on Saturday, dropping a thrilling 6-5 game in 11 innings to Southern Illinois-Edwardsville at the Santaluces Complex. The Mountain Hawks fall to 3-10 on the season and 0-5 on the trip to Florida.
Mike Lebo was charged with the loss, despite throwing 5.2 innings of shutout baseball. The sophomore righty came out of the pen for Greg Angelo in the fifth, and shut the Cougars down for the rest of the game. But a bloop single that scored an unearned run in the 10th inning gave SIEU the victory
“Lebo was outstanding,” Lehigh head coach Sean Leary said. “It was by far our best pitching performance of the year.”
The Mountain Hawks offense totaled 14 hits in the loss, including multi-hit games by Billy Swenson, Billy Goldman, Kevin Mihalik and Andy Russell. Swenson put up a game-high three hits, Goldman drove in two runs and Russell got things started in the first with a solo home run.
Despite the many hits, Lehigh was unable to drive home key runs in the late innings for the second straight game. The Mountain Hawks left 15 runners on base and were held scoreless for the final six innings. Lehigh loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the ninth, but back-to-back strikeouts got the Cougars out of the jam.
“We hit the ball hard all day, we just couldn’t get the clutch hits,” Leary said. “It was a frustrating day because multiple guys had very productive days.”
Angelo threw 4.1 innings in the no-decision. The junior righty gave up five runs – four earned – on six hits, while striking out five and walking five. Lebo came in during the fifth inning and worked his way out of several jams, scattering seven hits and striking out five.
Lehigh has one more chance to earn a win in Florida when it takes on Penn State at 1 p.m. Sunday.
“Everything is getting better down here,” Leary said. “The next step is we have to pull together and get a win. There were a lot of positives today, but there was also frustration because we couldn’t get the runs across when we needed to.”