Posted: April 18, 2010
WEST POINT, N.Y. – The Lehigh baseball team couldn’t bounce back on Sunday as it lost the final two games of its four-game series with Army at Doubleday Field. The Black Knights steady offense and strong pitching in game one allowed them to come away with a 9-2 win. The Mountain Hawks played better in game two, but couldn’t come up with enough hits, as Army held on for a 4-2 win. Lehigh drops to 14-20 overall and back to .500 (6-6) in Patriot League play with the losses. The Black Knights (20-11, 10-2) sit in first place in the Patriot League after the weekend.
“We came out today expecting to win and it’s frustrating to leave here without being able to gain any ground on the Patriot League playoff race,” head coach Sean Leary said. “Any game where you give up five or less runs you have a shot to win, but we couldn’t come up with the clutch hits this weekend.”
Army jumped out to an early lead in game one, as Steve May scored on an error by Lehigh third baseman Jim McConlogue. The Mountain Hawks tied things up at one in the top of the second off a single from junior Chad Warga that knocked in his classmate Kevin Mihalik.
After taking the lead back in the third, the Black Knights were able to strike for three more in the fourth. With the bases loaded senior Greg Angelo threw a wild pitch, which allowed Army to get its first run of the inning. A two-run single by Zach Price increased the Black Knights’ lead to 5-1 heading into the fifth.
Lehigh was able to get its final run of the game in the top of the fifth before Manny Fernandez came in the game in relief of Army starter Joey Henshaw with two outs in the inning. The Black Knights would go onto add four more runs in the bottom of the sixth to seal the game.
The Mountain Hawks’ hitters couldn’t solve Fernandez as he pitched the final 2.1 innings to pick up his first save of the season. Henshaw (3-1) picked up the win, while Angelo (3-2) took the loss for the Brown and White. Angelo only pitched 3.1 innings and three other pitchers came in to finish the game. The four Lehigh pitchers combined to walk a season-high nine batters in the game.
“It was the first time in Patriot League play that our pitchers struggled to throw strikes,” Leary said. Overall our pitching was strong this weekend, but we weren’t able to do enough to support it.”
In the final game of the series, junior Brendan McGaheran opened things up with a walk and he would advance to second off a ground out by junior Logan Winchester. Junior Andrew Russell singled to second base and drove McGaheran in for the first run of the game.
The Black Knights answered right back in the bottom of the inning, as Kevin McKague singled in May.
Army’s J.T. Watkins broke up the 1-1 tie in the bottom of the fourth with a solo shot to left field. The Black Knights weren’t done in the inning, as May knocked in Clayton Mosley in what was the eventual game-winning run.
Watkins picked up Army’s final run of the game in the bottom of the fifth inning with a sac fly to left field that scored McKague.
The Mountain Hawks were able to get to the Black Knights’ starter Logan Lee in the top of the seventh when freshman Alex Jacquez hit a two-out single to score sophomore Joe Conaway. Army once again called upon Fernandez to come out of the bullpen and he was able to end the inning.
Lehigh stranded two runners in the eighth, but that’s the closest it would get as McKague pitched the ninth to pick up the save for Army.
Junior Mike Lebo (2-3) was credited with the loss for the Mountain Hawks, as he pitched five innings, giving up nine hits and four earned runs. Sophomore Cory Kent came in and pitched the final three innings in relief for the Brown and White. Lee (3-1) picked up the win for the Black Knights.
“We’re going to get back at it tomorrow and work on some of the things that plagued us over the weekend,” head coach Sean Leary said. “The best thing for us is to get back out there and try and work through our problems.”
Lehigh will be back in action Tuesday night against Delaware in the finals of the Liberty Bell Classic at 8 p.m. in Philadelphia. You can hear live audio of Tuesday’s contest from Citizens Bank Park by logging onto Lehighsports.com.
Main photo provided Albert Jacquez
Lehigh - Army Post-Game Extra