Posted: March 24, 2010
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh picked up its second straight shutout victory on Wednesday as it defeated NJIT 7-0 behind a strong pitching performance from junior Mike Lebo. Lebo, who picked up his first win since 2008, pitched seven scoreless innings, giving up only five hits, while striking out six. The Mountain Hawks offense produced only eight hits, but that was all they needed to pull out the victory. With the win Lehigh improves to 5-10, while the Highlanders drop to 3-11 with the setback.
“Lebo was outstanding for us today,” head coach Sean Leary said after the game. “He worked really hard out there and he was using his breaking ball well. He was just really efficient and he was able to rely on his defense.”
Leary continued talking about the confidence this win will give Lebo, “He pitched really well last year, but suffered some close losses. To get a win like this is great for him and it makes it even better because his teammates really wanted it for him.”
Junior Brendan McGaheran got things going offensively for Lehigh as he blasted a double to left center to start the bottom of the first inning. After a Billy Goldman sacrifice bunt, his classmate Andrew Russell grounded out to the pitcher, but McGaheran scored on the play to give the Brown and White a 1-0 lead.
The pitchers took over for the next few innings and it wasn’t until the bottom of the fifth when the Mountain Hawks could get something going. Junior Sean Killeen opened the inning with a double and was followed by fellow junior Jim McConlogue who singled him over to third. Freshman Thomas O’Malley reached on an error by the pitcher, which allowed Killeen to come in and score. With two outs in the inning, junior Brendan Pifer hit a ground ball to NJIT’s shortstop, Jeff Peterson, who misplayed the ball and McConlogue came into score. After five innings the Brown and White held a 3-0 lead.
Lehigh got two more runs in the seventh off a big two-run double from junior Billy Goldman. The Mountain Hawks would tack on two final insurance runs in the eighth and freshman Cameron Phillips pitched a flawless ninth to close out the game.
Leary was happy with the way the team fought to produce runs, “It wasn’t a great offensive day, but we were able to manufacture some runs. I thought we did nice job of taking advantage of our opportunities and really played great small ball.”
Killeen finished as the only Mountain Hawk with more than one hit (two) and Goldman led the team with two RBIs. Also seeing an inning of relief for Lehigh was senior Jordan Warncke who was able to work out of a jam to allow no runs in the eighth.
The Mountain Hawks will return to action Saturday afternoon in Orono, Maine against the Black Bears in doubleheader action beginning at 12:30 p.m. Check back to Lehighsports.com for a full recap of the games.
Lehigh - NJIT Post-Game Extra