Posted: March 24, 2009
PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. – Lehigh suffered another road defeat on Tuesday when the Villanova Wildcats defended their home turf at Villanova Ballpark, 5-1. Jordan Warncke allowed just one earned run over six innings for the Mountain Hawks, but the Lehigh bats could not make up the deficit.
Lehigh falls to 4-19-1 on the season with the loss, while the Wildcats improve to 11-9.
Warncke gave up three runs in the first three innings – only one of which was earned – but battled on through six solid innings to keep the Mountain Hawks in the game. The junior righty struck out four batters and walked seven while allowing just three hits. Kyle Helisek earned the win for the Wildcats after going 6.2 innings and giving up just one run on six hits.
Kevin Mihalik drove in the only run of the game for the Brown and White with a double in the fourth inning, and Andy Russell was the only Lehigh player to record a multi-hit game, going 2-for-3 and scoring a run.
The Wildcats struck first with two runs in the first inning to take an early lead. Villanova mowed down the Mountain Hawks in order in the top half of the inning. Then Matt Szczur reached base on a walk before stealing both second and third. When Joe Rosati singled to left-center, Szczur scored easily for the game’s first run. After Rosati stole second and advanced to third on an error, Matt McFolling drove him home, giving Villanova a 2-0 lead.
Villanova added another run in the bottom of the third when a pickoff attempt by Warncke went awry. Dain Hall came around from third to give the Wildcats a 3-0 lead through three innings.
The Mountain Hawks woke up at the plate in the top of the fourth. Mihalik doubled to right field scoring Russell all the way from first base for Lehigh’s first run of the afternoon, cutting the lead to 3-1.
Both pitching staffs settled into a rhythm after the fourth, not allowing a run until the eighth inning. Warncke overcame his up and down start to pitch three more shutout innings, allowing just one more hit along the way. The junior righty left after six innings, trailing by two runs when he was replaced by Dan Ciccone in the seventh.
Ciccone rolled through the seventh inning without giving up a run, but Villanova jumped on him for two runs in the eighth to provide the necessary insurance in the win. A double by David Koczirka and a single by Szczur put the Mountain Hawks down four heading into the final frame.
Lehigh returns to action on Wednesday when the Mountain Hawks travel to Newark, N.J. for a mid-week matchup with NJIT.