Posted: April 11, 2009
EASTON, Pa. – Junior Andrew Berger struck out four and allowed only two earned runs as Lehigh defeated archrival Lafayette 4-3 on Saturday afternoon at Kamine Stadium for the Mountain Hawks third straight Patriot League win. Berger went the distance, scattering seven hits over seven innings to earn his second victory of the season. Lehigh scored all four of its runs in the final three innings to improve to 3-4 in league action. The start time of the game was pushed back due to inclement weather, so the teams did not play a doubleheader. They will play twice on Sunday and once more on Monday.
In the Mountain Hawks half of the seventh, Jim McConlogue singled to right with one out and Drew Scheirer came into pinch run for him. Mark Bernhard also singled to right, chasing Lafayette starter Zach Fritz from the game. Brian Mostek came in and proceeded to walk Logan Marshall, which loaded the bases. Mostek then hit Geoff Campbell, sending Scheirer home and tying the game at three. Andrew Russell then battled his way on with a walk, which brought home Bernhard with the winning run.
“It was a great way to finish off,” Lehigh head coach Sean Leary said afterwards. “We had a few clutch hits and deep at-bats coming down the stretch. It was a really well-played game by two tough teams.”
Lafayette scored in the fourth when Jeff Butler reached on an error and eventually came around on a Justin Shepherd single to right.
After being held scoreless for the first four innings, Lehigh got on the board for the first time in the fifth on a Bernhard RBI that drove in Billy Goldman. Goldman reached on a single and was followed by Patrick Groome who also singled. A McConlogue sac fly moved Goldman to third and Bernhard’s bunt single drove him in to tie the game at one.
The Leopards took a two-run lead in their half of the fifth on a Brad Weiss single to right that brought home Dan Bierce and AJ Pisarri to made the score 3-1. Bierce reached on a fielder’s choice and Pisarri had singled.
Lehigh got to within one in the sixth when Swenson drove in Campbell with a sacrifice fly to right field. Campbell had led the inning off with a single and Russell followed with a single of his own. Kevin Mihalik then advanced the pair over with a sac bunt, leading to Swenson’s RBI.
Leary commented on the performance of Berger, who walked just two over seven innings. “Andrew pitched very well. In the first game of a series, you can’t afford to give up a lot of runs and he really closed it down for us. He battled and made some very nice pitches.”
Looking ahead to Sunday, Leary says Lehigh will look to build on the momentum its built having won its last three Patriot League games. “We’ve got positive momentum going right now and we’re going to try and build on that. Anytime it’s Lehigh and Lafayette it adds to the energy, so we’re excited and looking forward to Sunday.”
The two teams will play a doubleheader on Sunday beginning at noon with the series set to conclude with a single game on Monday, which gets underway at 3:30.