Posted: April 25, 2009
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Sophomore Logan Winchester drilled a pinch-hit, three-run, walk-off home run to right centerfield as Lehigh overcame a six-run ninth inning deficit to defeat Bucknell 11-10 in the nightcap of a doubleheader Saturday at the baseball field on Goodman Campus. Classmate Billy Goldman went 5-for-5 as the Mountain Hawks pounded out 17 hits in the game as Lehigh earned a split in the doubleheader after dropping game one 7-3. With the split, Lehigh moves to 11-34-1 overall and 4-12 in the league, while Bucknell now stands at 19-23, 11-7 in league games.
“We really fought hard offensively all day,” said Lehigh head coach Sean Leary afterwards. “It was really rewarding for our team to get a late inning victory out of it. We’ve been on the wrong side of a lot of these kinds of games this season. It was a great late-inning performance and one we really needed. The guys worked hard enough and they deserved to win one that way.”
Lehigh trailed 10-4 heading to the last of the ninth when freshman Joe Conaway led off with a single off of Ryan Ebner and Goldman followed with a single to center, his fifth of the game, as he became the first Mountain Hawk to record five hits in a game since Liam O’Connor accomplished the feat against NJIT in March, 2007. Junior Patrick Groome followed with a ground ball to shortstop that took a weird hop past Ben Allen and into left centerfield for a base hit that scored Conaway to make it 10-5.
Sophomore Ross Biggs then followed with Lehigh’s fourth consecutive hit, scoring Goldman to put the Mountain Hawks within four. A walk to sophomore Andy Russell loaded the bases, and Bucknell summoned its closer Alex Cillo from the bullpen.
Cillo struck out sophomore Brendan Pifer for the first out, but sophomore Jim McConlogue drove an opposite-field single to right scoring two more runs to make the score 10-8. Cillo struck out Kevin Mihalik for the second out, but Winchester followed by drilling a Cillo offering over the wall in right center for his third home run of the season, capping off the seven-run rally in the bottom of the ninth.
Junior Rob Russell earned the win on the mound, allowing a run on four hits in 2.2 innings. Russell struck out one and did not walk a batter as he moves to 1-1. Cillo took the loss and falls to 0-4 on the season.
The Mountain Hawks raced to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning, on a bases-loaded bunt single by senior Mark Bernhard, a bases loaded walk to freshman Ryan Gajdos and a sacrifice fly by McConlogue.
Bucknell scored a single run in the third and took advantage of two Lehigh errors to score four times in the fourth to take a 5-3 lead.
Lehigh crept within a run at 5-4 on a sacrifice fly by Biggs in the fifth, but Bucknell scored once in the sixth, three times in the seventh and once in the ninth to build a six run lead, setting the stage for Lehigh’s monumental comeback.
Along with Goldman’s five hit game, Conaway finished with three hits, while Mihalik and Biggs added two hits apiece. The Bison were led by Doug Shribman and Bret Sokirka, who drove in three runs each. Ben Yoder also smacked his sixth home run of the season.
In Saturday’s first game, Bucknell scored in five of seven innings to earn the win. The Bison scored a run on a wild pitch in the first and added three in the third on an RBI single from Yoder and a long two-run home run to left center by Andrew Brouse, his league-leading tenth of the season.
Lehigh scored its three runs in the bottom of the inning on a three-run home run to straight away center by Andy Russell, his sixth of the season.
Bucknell added single runs in the final three frames and Chris Yamaguchi went the distance allowing three runs on seven hits to earn his league-best seventh win. Junior Andrew Berger took the loss for Lehigh, allowing five runs (four earned) on six hits in five innings. Berger falls to 2-6 on the season.
The Mountain Hawks and Bison will wrap-up their four game series with a doubleheader Sunday at the baseball field on Goodman Campus. First pitch for game one is set for 12 p.m.