Posted: April 24, 2010
LEWISBURG, Pa. – Behind two of its better offensive performances of the season, Lehigh snapped its six game losing streak by sweeping a doubleheader from Bucknell Saturday at Depew Field. Junior Brendan McGaheran ripped three hits in support of senior Andrew Berger’s complete-game effort as the Mountain Hawks took game one 7-4. In the nightcap Lehigh used a six-run fourth inning to build an 8-1 lead before holding on for a 9-8 win. With the sweep, Lehigh improves to 16-22 overall and 8-6 in the Patriot League, which is currently good for second place in the league standings.
“We showed a lot of resiliency,” said Lehigh head coach Sean Leary. “The guys never got too high or too low. These were two of our toughest wins we’ve had this season, where we knew we were going to have to work hard. The work we’ve been putting in has paid off. To come back from losing four games last week to win the first two games against Bucknell really shows the character in our kids.”
McGaheran got Lehigh off to a fast start as he led off the game with a home run to left field, his third of the season.
Bucknell took the lead in the bottom of the first inning on a two-run home run by Ben Yoder and an RBI double by Doug Shirbman.
Lehigh tied the game with a two-out rally in the top of the second as junior Chad Warga reached on catcher’s interference and then scored on a double to right by classmate Brendan Pifer. McGaheran then followed with a bunt single and a throwing error by Bison starter Trey Frahler allowed Pifer to score the tying run.
In the third, the Mountain Hawks took the lead when junior Logan Winchester singled, moved to third on a double by Jim McConlogue and then scored on a Warga ground out. Bucknell tied the game with an RBI groundout of its own in the third but Lehigh went ahead for good in the fourth as McGaheran led off with a single and eventually came around to score on an RBI single by junior Kevin Mihalik.
The Mountain Hawks tacked on two key insurance runs in the sixth on a two-out RBI double by Mihalik and a RBI single by Winchester.
Berger overcame a rocky start to go the distance in the seven-inning game as he allowed four runs on seven hits, while walking one and striking out one. The senior right-hander allowed just two hits after the fourth inning as he improves to 4-1. Frahler took the loss and falls to 4-4.
“Berger did a great job getting some tough outs for us,” said Leary. “Bucknell’s a tough opponent and they got to him early but he found a way to work through it and get a complete game and I give him a lot of credit for that. Offensively, McGaheran had a great day with some clutch hits, and Mihalik and Winchester’s back-to-back hits were huge for us late.”
The host Bison took a 1-0 lead in the second inning of game two on a Shribman solo home run in the second, before Lehigh scored eight times in the next two frames to take a commanding 8-1 lead.
McGaheran led the charge once again for the Brown and White as he put Lehigh in front 2-1 with a double to left center that scored junior Sean Killeen and Warga.
In the fourth, Lehigh loaded the bases with no outs and Killeen drove in a run to make it 3-1 when he was hit by a pitch. The Mountain Hawks extended their lead as Pifer singled through the right side to make it 4-1 and McGaheran brought home a run with a groundout to make it 5-1 Lehigh. Junior Billy Goldman delivered the biggest blow in the inning, a two-run triple to left center. Goldman later scored on a throwing error by Yoder to cap the six-run frame.
Lehigh extended its lead to 9-1 in the sixth when Pifer doubled and then scored on a two-out triple to center by junior Andy Russell.
Bucknell enjoyed its biggest rally of the day in the sixth inning as the Bison scored six times to trim Lehigh’s lead to two. Yoder drilled a three-run homer to right field to make it 9-4 and after a hit, a fielder’s choice and a hit batsman Matt Lamore cleared the bases with a three-run double to left center.
The Bison crept within a run on Shribman’s second home run of the game in the eighth inning and Bucknell put the tying run on base in the bottom of the ninth, but sophomore Cory Kent came out of the bullpen for the four-out save, getting pinch hitter Kevin Drozen to ground into a double play to end the game.
Bucknell finishes the day at 18-27 overall and 6-8 in the league.
The Mountain Hawks and Bison will wrap-up their four game series with a doubleheader on Sunday beginning at noon from Depew Field.