Posted: April 21, 2010
PHILADELPHIA – For the second straight game Lehigh was faced with an early deficit and it couldn’t get back into the game as Penn kept pouring it on to come away with a 12-4 win on a rainy Wednesday afternoon at Meiklejohn Stadium. The Quakers got off to a fast start with six runs in the first inning and were able to get six more runs throughout the game on a total of 17 hits. The Brown and White was limited to only nine hits and left 11 runners on base. The Mountain Hawks have now lost six straight games and drop to 14-22 (6-6) on the season. Penn ups its record to 17-16 with the victory.
“We didn’t play well today,” head coach Sean Leary said. “We came out slow and they were able to jump on us. We dug ourselves to deep of a hole to get out of.”
Penn was able to get out to a big lead in the bottom of the first, scoring six runs to take command of the game. Will Davis gave the Quakers a 2-0 lead when he tripled to knock in Dan Williams and Jeremy Maas. Penn was able to get to Lehigh starter Rob Russell for four more runs before freshman Cameron Phillips came out of the bullpen in relief. Phillips was able to get Maas to ground out to shortstop to end the inning.
The Quakers struck again in the bottom of the third when James Mraz came into score off a wild pitch by Phillips. Penn got its second run of the inning off a double steal when junior catcher Chad Warga failed to throw out Adrian Lorenzo at second. Emilio Pastor, who was on third base, was able to score off Warga’s throw down to second.
Davis gave Penn a 9-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth with a solo home run to right center. Lehigh was finally able to erase the zero on the scoreboard with a run in the top of the fifth. With two outs in the inning, sophomore Ryan Gajdos doubled down the left field line and junior Brendan McGaheran followed him up with a walk. A fielding error by the Penn third baseman on a hit by junior Jim McConlogue allowed Gajdos to come into score.
After Penn answered right back in the bottom of the fifth with another run, Leary went to the bullpen for a second time and brought in freshman Ryan Patrick. The lefty came in and got the Quakers to hit into a double play to end the inning.
Junior Kevin Mihalik notched Lehigh’s second run of the game in the top of the sixth with a solo shot to left field. Junior Austin Borden followed up Mihalik with a double off the left field wall and he was then subbed out of the game for pinch runner Sean Killeen. After junior Ross Biggs walked, Penn was able to get two straight outs, but Gajdos kept the inning alive with another big two-out hit. Gajdos singled through the left side to bring in Killeen and make the score 10-3.
Heading into the final inning, Penn held a 12-3 lead until Mihalik knocked in his second run of the game to make the score 12-4. The Mountain Hawks were able to keep the threat on, but with the bases loaded Killeen and Biggs struck out to end the game.
Mihalik was one of the only bright spots offensively for Lehigh, as he led the team with three of its nine hits and two RBI.
Russell took the loss on the mound, but on a positive note for Lehigh it was able to get some experience for three of its freshmen pitchers. Phillips, Patrick and Jordan Sacks pitched the final 7.1 innings for the Mountain Hawks.
“It was good opportunity for our young arms to get their chance to pitch,” Leary said. “I thought Ryan Patrick came in and did a real nice job again today.”
Lehigh will get a few days off before it hits the road once again for a four-game series with the Bucknell Bison this Saturday and Sunday from Lewisburg, Pa. First pitch will be at noon on both Saturday and Sunday.
“We’ll get back to practice tomorrow and just get back to the basics,” Leary said. “Our play has been sloppy and we need to work on fundamentals and build some confidence for the weekend. This is the biggest weekend of the year for us.”
Inside photo provided by Albert Jacquez
Lehigh - Penn Post-Game Extra