Posted: April 26, 2009
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh wrapped up its 2009 season on Sunday afternoon with a double header versus the Bucknell Bison at the baseball field on the Goodman Campus. The Mountain Hawks fell 12-6 in the first game and dropped the nightcap 17-8 to the Bison. Andy Russell went a perfect seven-for-seven for the Mountain Hawks in the two games, belting his seventh home run of the season along the way, while as a team, Lehigh totaled 26 hits, but was done in by nine fielding errors. Following the losses, Lehigh sits at 4-14 in the Patriot League, while the visiting Bison up their record to 21-23 overall and 13-7 in league action.
“We’re disappointed today. We didn’t execute on the fundamental plays,” Lehigh head coach Sean Leary commented afterwards. “We certainly swung the bats well enough to win two games today, but we gave them some extra outs and that makes it tough to win no matter how well you’re hitting.”
He continued, “We had a number of guys pitch through injury today, but they needed a little more help on the defensive side of things.”
Bucknell jumped out to a 2-0 lead in game one in the second inning when Doug Shribman homered to left with one out and Drew Constable came around on a Lehigh error. Constable had singled and moved to third on a Zach Brown single, and scored after B.J. LaRosa reached on an error. The Mountain Hawks tied things up at two in their half of the second as Ryan Gajdos started the two-out rally with a single. Following a walk to Mike Laychur, Mark Bernhard came up and ripped a double to right field, plating both runners, and tying things at two.
The Bison took the lead back in the third when Ben Allen led off with a single to right and eventually came home on a sac fly by Dane Grandizio. Lehigh answered again though, in its half of the inning when Russell singled to right, and moved over to third on an Austen Borden single. Billy Goldman then laid down a beautiful bunt, which brought home Russell and tied the score at three.
Bucknell broke the game open with a five-run fifth, and the Bison added two more in both the sixth and seventh innings. Lehigh did not go away without a fight however, as Borden blasted a home run over the left field wall in the bottom of the seventh that drove home three and brought the Mountain Hawks within 12-6. Pat Groome and Gajdos followed with singles to give Lehigh two runners on with just one out, but the next two Mountain Hawks were retired, ending any hope of a comeback.
Trey Frahler picked up the win for Bucknell in the opener as he went six-and-a-third innings, striking out two and allowing seven hits. Kevin Mihalik took the loss for Lehigh after throwing four-and-a-third innings and allowing five earned runs.
In game two Bucknell took a 1-0 lead in the first when Allen led off with a walk and moved to second on a passed ball. Grandizio tried to bunt Allen over, but wound up getting on safely himself, which brought up Ben Yoder, who got on with an infield single, driving home Allen in the process. The Bison added five runs in the third, and scored in each of the next four innings to open up a comfortable lead.
Lehigh got on the board for the first time in fifth when the Mountain Hawks plated four runs. Logan Winchester started things off with a walk and Jim McConlogue followed with a single. Russell then drove Winchester home with a single, and a Mihalik fielder’s choice brought home McConlogue. Borden followed with a single, which brought up Goldman, who also singled and drove home Mihalik. Swenson then brought in Borden with a sacrifice fly to make it a 10-4 game.
The Mountain Hawks added two runs in the seventh on a long home run to right by Russell, and they scored single runs in the eighth and ninth.
Dylan Seely picked up the game two win for Bucknell after throwing six innings and striking out three. Mike Lebo took the loss for Lehigh after he threw four-and-a-third innings and surrendered 12 hits and nine earned runs.
Leary then commented on the play of Russell. “Andy’s been doing that for us all season long. He’s really had a great year, but it’s gone a little unnoticed.”
Watch the Lehigh - Bucknell Post-Game Extra