Posted: February 28, 2010
WILMINGTON, N.C. – The Lehigh baseball team made a late charge Sunday morning, but fell short in its rematch with the Morehead State Eagles, losing 12-9 on the final day of the Hughes Bros. Challenge. The Mountain Hawks were able to get their bats going with 16 hits, but the Eagles had three players hit home runs, which included a grand slam to power them to victory. The Brown and White drop to 1-3 on the season and Morehead State improves to 4-5.
“Overall we swung the bats well, but we still left 10 guys on base,” head coach Sean Leary said. “We have to get better at getting more clutch hits like the six we got in the ninth inning. I thought overall we fought real hard and competed well all weekend.”
Morehead State showed its power on the very first pitch of the game as J.D. Ashbrook hit a solo home run down the left field line. The Eagles scored another run in the second and increased their lead to five when Andrew Deeds hit a three-run home run in the top of the fourth.
Lehigh responded in the bottom of the inning as juniors Billy Goldman and Andrew Russell opened the inning with back-to-back singles. With one out, their classmate Jim McConlogue flew out to right field and Goldman was able to tag up and get Lehigh on the board. Russell went onto score off a wild pitch as the Brown and White cut its deficit to three at 5-2.
Goldman picked up his second hit of the day in the bottom of the fifth as he knocked in junior Brendan Pifer to make the score 5-3.
After a scoreless sixth inning, Morehead State’s offense exploded for five runs in the top of the seventh. With the score 6-3, Drew Lee came up to the plate with the bases loaded and delivered rra grand slam, which was his first of two home runs on the day.
The Eagles picked up another run in the eighth and in the ninth Lee hit a solo blast to left center to increase their lead to 12-3.
Down nine runs, Lehigh wouldn’t go home easy as it battled back and scored six runs in the bottom of the ninth. Five different Mountain Hawks recorded RBI’s led by Goldman who picked up his second of the game.
Goldman finished the game going 5-for-6 from the plate, which ties his career-high for hits in a game. Junior Logan Winchester (3), Russell (2) and Brendan McGaheran (2) all had multiple hits in the game.
“Goldman had consistent at-bats for us all weekend,” Leary said. “Billy, Andy (Russell) and Brendan (McGaheran) played hard all weekend for us. All three played all four games and they led our offense. They sprinted every ball out and played with tremendous effort.”
Sophomore Cory Kent (0-1) took the loss on the mound as he went four innings and gave up four earned runs. Five other pitchers finished the game for Lehigh, which included three freshmen: Tom O’Malley, Cameron Phillips and Ryan Patrick.
“To be able to get all three of them and Sean Killeen an inning was a big step forward,” Leary commented. “Despite their lines I thought they all threw the ball well and it should help build them up for next weekend. I thought Phillips had the best outing, he threw really well.”
Picking up the win for the Eagles was Quentin Morgan who pitched 4.2 innings and allowed three earned runs. Lee finished the game going 2-for-5 with five runs batted in and Ashbrook had a team-high three hits.
The Mountain Hawks will return home from North Carolina for a few days and then head down to Maryland for a mid-week double header against Maryland-Eastern Shore Wednesday afternoon beginning at noon.