Posted: April 18, 2009
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh’s late-inning rally fell short in game one of a Patriot League doubleheader, as visiting Army held off the Mountain Hawks by a 6-4 score. In the nightcap, the Black Knights blanked Lehigh by a 12-0 score. With the wins, Army improves to 18-16 overall and 8-6 in the Patriot League. Lehigh falls to 9-30-1 with the losses, including a 3-9 league mark.
“We have to take pride in each and every at-bat,” said Lehigh head coach Sean Leary. “We played hard, but we need to make the plays in key situations.”
In the opener, the Black Knights struck first. After a hit batsman by Lehigh starter Andrew Berger (2-5) and a fielding error by Lehigh second baseman Geoff Campbell in the top of the second, Army third baseman J.P. Polchinski ripped a three-run homer to right field – his third – to give the visitors a three-nothing lead.
Lehigh answered in the home half of the frame, when first baseman Kevin Mihalik ripped a solo homer down the right field line – his third. Three batters later, third baseman Jim McConlogue connected on his third long ball of the season – a solo shot to right to cut the Army lead to 3-2.
In the top of the third, Army first baseman Kevin McKague laced a two-run double to right-center field, and by the time Lehigh right fielder Mark Bernhard made a terrific diving catch to end the frame, the Black Knights had a 6-2 advantage.
In the bottom of the seventh, Lehigh pinch hitter Austin Borden singled to right field to score a pair, cutting the Army lead to 6-4. However, Black Knights reliever Tyler Anderegg closed the door on the rally, giving Army the game one win.
Matt Fouch (3-3) struck out six in six and a third innings to pick up the victory for the Black Knights in the opener.
The Black Knights blew open game two with a seven-run fifth inning. Right fielder Kyle Fleming led off the frame with a solo homer off Lehigh starter Mike Lebo (0-7), and Army plated six more runs on seven total hits before the Mountain Hawks managed to retire the side.
In all, the Black Knights pounded out 17 hits in the victory. Kirk Porter (4-2) pitched a complete game shutout in the nine-inning win.
McConlogue had two of Lehigh’s three hits in the game, including a double.
After game two, Leary held a lengthy meeting with his team down the left field line. “That was the first game [in Patriot League play] where we got blown out, where we didn’t compete,” he said. “I told them that we have to give ourselves a shot to win games. We have eight [league] games left, and we still control our fate.”
Lehigh and Army conclude the four-game series with a doubleheader on Sunday at the baseball field on Goodman Campus. First pitch of game one is set for Noon, and both games will be broadcast live on Lehighsports.com with streaming provided by Yahoo! Sports College Broadcast.