Posted: April 22, 2009
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh’s offense totaled 21 runs and 28 hits en route to a doubleheader split with Penn Wednesday afternoon at the baseball field on Goodman Campus. Freshman Cory Kent and junior Jordan Warncke held the Quakers without a hit through the first six innings of the seven inning contest as the Mountain Hawks built a 10-0 lead, but Penn scored 11 times in the top of the seventh to rally for an 11-10 win in the opener. In the nightcap, Lehigh’s bats started quickly, scoring 11 times in the first four innings as the Mountain Hawks held off the Quakers 11-7 to earn the split and move to 10-33-1 on the season.
“It was great to see our offense be productive from the first inning of the first game,” said Lehigh head coach Sean Leary. “Twenty-one runs in a doubleheader is a great day. I’m really proud of the way the offense came back and showed a lot of resolve after a tough loss in the opener. They were really able to come back and put some runs up in support of our pitching staff.”
The Mountain Hawks went in front with five runs in the bottom of the second inning in game one. Sophomores Jim McConlogue and Austin Borden started the rally with a single and double respectively. Billy Goldman followed with a single to left center scoring both men to put Lehigh up 2-0. An RBI groundout by Logan Winchester extended the Lehigh lead, while an RBI triple by junior Patrick Groome followed by a run-scoring single by sophomore Andy Russell capped the five-run frame.
In the third, Lehigh extended its lead with three more runs. McConlogue crushed his fourth home run of the season over the batter’s eye in straight-away centerfield and then with two outs Winchester plated two more runs with a single to centerfield.
Russell led off the fourth with a solo shot to right field, his team-leading fourth home run of the season and in the sixth, sophomore Kevin Mihalik belted his fourth long-ball of the season, a solo blast to left field, putting Lehigh up by ten.
Kent faced the minimum nine batters in three innings, allowing just a hit batsman who was later thrown out stealing. Warncke was perfect through his first three innings of relief but ran into trouble in the top of the seventh.
Tom Grandieri broke up the no-hit bid with a double to left center, leading off the seventh. Derek Vigoa put Penn on the board with a double of his own, and three consecutive walks pushed a second run across. Junior Rob Russell relieved Warncke and walked Mike Mariano to force in another run, before recording an out on an RBI fielder’s choice off the bat of Will Davis. A double by James Mraz and a single by Grandieri made it 10-7 and sophomore Mike Lebo came in to relieve Russell.
Lebo recorded the second out on a sacrifice fly by Will Gordon, which made it 10-8, but Jeremy Maas drilled a three-run home-run to right center, his fourth of the season to cap the 11-run frame and put the Quakers on top.
Lehigh put the tying run on base in the bottom of the seventh, but Gordon retired freshman Ryan Gajdos and junior Billy Swenson on fly balls to center field to end the game.
Pat Brennan earned the win for Penn allowing two runs in 3.2 innings of work. Gordon earned his first save, while Lebo was tagged with the loss after allowing the go-ahead home run in two-thirds of an inning of work.
Andy Russell and Goldman each had three-hits and two RBI in game one for the Mountain Hawks, while Mihalik, McConlogue and Borden tallied two hits apiece.
The Mountain Hawks were able to shake off the sting of the game-one loss as they scored five times in the first two innings in the nightcap.
After McConlogue singled with one out in the first, Russell tripled to left center to put Lehigh up 1-0. Mihalik then followed with a double to right field, which scored Russell. With runners on the corners and two out, Borden took off for second and was able to get into a rundown, which allowed Mihalik to score to make it 3-0.
Freshman Joe Conaway led off the second a home run to left center, his second of the season, and Groome followed with a triple to right. Gajdos singled Groome home to put Lehigh up by five after two.
Penn (14-23) scored a single run in the top of the fourth, but the Mountain Hawks broke the game open with six runs in the fourth. Lehigh capitalized on a pair of Quaker errors and had four hits in the frame as they took an 11-1 lead. McConlogue delivered a bases-loaded one-out single to score Conaway, while two more runs came home when Russell’s grounder to second was booted by Steve Gable. Mihalik drove in a run with a ground out, while Borden added a two-out RBI single. The final run of the frame came on a wild pitch by Paul Cusick, as Borden scored on an errant throw to second base by Jeff Cellucci.
The Quakers tried to rally again, scoring twice in the fifth and four times in the sixth, but sophomore Luke Porter worked his way out of several jams to close out the game and snap the Mountain Hawks nine-game losing streak.
Junior Ken Longernecker went the first five innings on the mound to earn his second win of the season. He allowed three runs (two earned) on nine hits while walking one and striking out one.
Vince Voiro took the loss in game two for the Quakers.
Five different Mountain Hawks: McConlogue, Mihalik, Goldman, Conaway and Gajdos had two hits in Wednesday’s second game.
Lehigh returns to the diamond on Saturday when the Mountain Hawks host their final Patriot League series of the season against Bucknell. The Mountain Hawks and Bison will play doubleheaders Saturday and Sunday at the baseball field on Goodman Campus, with first pitch both days set for noon. Saturday’s doubleheader will be broadcast online at Lehighsports.com with streaming powered by Yahoo! Sports College Broadcast.
Watch the Lehigh - Penn Post-Game Extra