Posted: March 28, 2010
ORONO, Maine – The Lehigh baseball team suffered two tough setbacks on its final day in Maine on Sunday. The Mountain Hawks could only produce one hit in game one as they lost 8-1 to the Black Bears. It was a completely different story in the second game as Lehigh out-hit Maine 15-13, but it was the host Black Bears who rallied in the bottom of the ninth to come away with a 10-9 win. With the two losses, the Brown and White will return home with a 6-13 overall record. Maine improves to 10-13 with the sweep on Sunday.
“Maine’s pitcher was outstanding in game one,” head coach Sean Leary said. “He had a low 90’s fastball and was able to mix in his breaking ball well. They just beat us today.”
Leary continued talking about how the team bounced back in the second game. “The team was able to come back and compete well offensively in the second game. (Andrew) Russell continued his strong weekend at the plate and Austin Borden provided us a big spark off the bench. We just couldn’t hold them offensively.”
The Mountain Hawks’ hitters were grounded in game one against Maine, as freshman Jeffrey Gibbs threw a complete game one-hitter. The only blemish to his day came when junior Andrew Russell hit his second home run of the series in the top of the fourth inning.
The Black Bears got on the board in the bottom of the second and were able to add to their lead in each of the next four innings.
Senior Greg Angelo (1-1) was credited with the loss for Lehigh. Angelo went three innings, allowed nine hits and five runs.
Maine’s offense was led by sophomore Justin Leisenheimer who finished a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate with two RBIs.
Lehigh was able to get its bats going early in game two, as it struck for three in the top of the second inning. Junior Austin Borden got things going for the Brown and White when he doubled in his classmate Jim McConlogue. Freshman Brandon Sady followed with a clutch two-run single to give the Mountain Hawks a 3-0 lead.
Maine responded with three runs of its own in the bottom of the inning and both teams would go scoreless for the next two innings.
Russell got Lehigh the lead back when he singled in junior Chad Warga in the top of the fifth to give the Mountain Hawjs a 4-3 lead.
The Black Bears opened up the bottom of the fifth with back-to-back doubles to even the game. Junior Kevin Mihalik then entered the game in relief of senior Jordan Warncke with the score tied, but Maine was able to keep up its offensive attack. The Black Bears would end up striking for four more runs to take an 8-4 lead.
The Mountain Hawks kept fighting and started to chip away at Maine’s lead in the top of the sixth when junior Logan Winchester scored on a throwing error by the Black Bears.
With the score 8-5 in the top of the seventh, Russell knocked in Warga for the second time in the game with a double to right field.
In the top of the eighth Borden got things going for Lehigh as he doubled to left field. After a Sady walk, Warga came up with a big double of his own down the right field line to bring the Mountain Hawks within one. Senior Patrick Groome came into pinch hit and was able to even the score with a deep sac fly to center field that scored Sady.
The Mountain Hawks went up 9-8 in the top of the ninth off a RBI single from Winchester with two outs in the inning. Sophomore Dan Ciccone came in to try and shut the Black Bears down in the bottom of the inning, but Maine was able to come back and score two runs to win the game.
Borden led the Brown and White offensively in game two as he finished 4-for-5 at the plate with one RBI. Russell (two), McConlogue (two) and Warga (three) all had more than one hit.
“Borden has really responded well all season as either a pinch hitter or as a spot starter," Leary said. "He had the chance to play today and had an outstanding game. He’s a guy that has worked hard and took advantage of an opportunity.”
Lehigh will return to the Lehigh Valley for a few days and then head right back on the road as it travels to Philadelphia on Tuesday to play Temple at 3:00 p.m. in game one of the 2010 Liberty Bell Classic.