LEWISBURG, Pa. – Lehigh used a five-run sixth inning to soar past Bucknell 7-4 in game two of the doubleheader on Sunday to come away with a split at Depew Field. The Mountain Hawks were behind 3-1 heading into the sixth and were able to produce all five runs in the inning with two outs. Bucknell opened the day with an 8-1 victory in game one off a complete game performance from Dylan Seely. With the one victory on Sunday, Lehigh ups its record to 17-23 (9-7) on the season and is tied with Holy Cross for second in the Patriot League. The Bison end the day with a 19-28 (7-9) overall record.
“They outplayed us in game one, but I was proud of the way we bounced back and battled in the second game,” head coach Sean Leary said. “It was a big comeback win for us that not only helped us win the series, but it also helped us in the playoff race.”
Trailing 3-1 in the sixth inning of game two, the Mountain Hawks were able to come up with several clutch hits with two outs to take the lead for good in the game. Juniors Andrew Russell and Kevin Mihalik started the inning with two fly outs in what seemed like an easy inning for Bucknell. The Brown and White quickly proved them wrong by getting its next seven hitters on base. Junior Logan Winchester started the rally with a double to left center and he was driven in by his classmate Jim McConlogue who singled. After junior Sean Killeen walked, Chad Warga singled to left field to bring in McConlogue. Junior Brendan Pifer kept the inning going with another single that brought in Killeen. Bucknell went to its bullpen and junior Brendan McGaheran was hit by a pitch to load up the bases for Billy Goldman. The junior centerfielder was able to deliver with a single up the middle to score the final two runs of the inning.
“We haven’t done a good job all year of putting together big innings offensively, but today we came up with some clutch hits,” Leary commented about the sixth inning. “We were able to get some big hits from Winchester, McConlogue, Warga, Pifer and Goldman.”
Lehigh would go onto add another run in the top of the seventh off a McConlogue single and junior Mike Lebo and sophomore Cory Kent were able to halt the Bison hitters for the rest of the game. Lebo (3-3) went seven innings, giving up four runs and striking out four to pick up the win. Kent came in and pitched the final two innings to close the game out for the Mountain Hawks.
“Lebo was terrific today against a very good hitting team,” Leary commented. “Cory has been great out of the bullpen and he did an outstanding job again today closing it out.”
The Mountain Hawks finished with 15 hits in game two and were led by Mihalik who had a game-high four. McConlogue and Goldman each drove in two runs to pace the offense.
The Bison were able to quickly bounce back from getting swept on Saturday by taking a 1-0 lead in the first inning of game one on Sunday. Bucknell didn’t stop there, as it scored three more runs in the next two innings. With two outs in the bottom of the third, Lehigh starter Greg Angelo was chased from the game after the Bison scored their fourth run.
Bucknell was able to add to its lead in the bottom of the fifth with four more runs off senior Rob Russell. Andrew Brouse started the scoring off with a sacrifice fly to center field and with two runners on, Doug Shribman homered to left field to make the score 8-0.
Lehigh notched its only run of the game in the top of the seventh to spoil Seeley’s attempt at a shutout. Killeen singled up the middle to score sophomore Joe Conaway, but Seely was able to recover and get the final two outs of the game.
Seely threw seven innings, scattering six hits, and struck out two to pick up his fourth win of the season. Angelo was credited with the loss for Lehigh, as he lasted only 2.2 innings and gave up two earned runs.
“Coming into the series I knew it was the most important one of our entire senior class’ career,” Leary said. “We hit a rough stretch this past week, but I thought the team responded well taking three games against a good Bucknell team.”
Lehigh will back in action Tuesday afternoon with a doubleheader against Maryland Eastern Shore in Princess Anne, Md., beginning at noon.