Posted: April 27, 2010
PRINCESS ANNE, Md. – Behind a strong performance from senior Rob Russell, Lehigh came back to earn a split with Maryland-Eastern Shore on Tuesday afternoon in non-league action. After dropping the first game 4-2, the Mountain Hawks came back and defeated the Hawks 4-0 in game two. Russell threw a complete game shutout to earn his first victory of the season. With the split on Tuesday, Lehigh improves its record to 18-24 (9-7) on the season, while Maryland-Eastern Shore is now 5-35.
“We couldn’t get our offense going in game one,” head coach Sean Leary said. “They made a couple of key plays and we didn’t help ourselves with mistakes. We just didn’t execute the small stuff well in game one.”
Leary continued discussing how Russell stepped up in game two. “We needed someone to step up and to have it be a senior was good to see. It showed a real sign of maturity.”
The Mountain Hawks were able to get their bats going early in the second game with three runs and five hits in the second inning. Junior Sean Killeen opened the inning with a single to left field and sophomore Joe Conaway followed him up with another single. Junior Ross Biggs hit the third consecutive single to bring in Killeen from second. After an out by the Hawks, freshman Alex Jacquez knocked in Biggs from second base with a big hit up the middle. Junior Brendan McGaheran gave Lehigh a 3-0 lead with the final hit of the inning that plated his classmate Brendan Pifer.
The Brown and White would added another run in fourth and Russell went onto take control of the game from there. Russell finished the game going seven innings, scattering eight hits and striking out three.
“Rob just attacked the strike zone and changed speeds really well today,” Leary commented. “He did an outstanding job for us today.”
The Mountain Hawks finished with 10 hits in game two and McGaheran capped off his day with another two-hit effort.
Lehigh trailed the Hawks 1-0 after the first inning in game one, but a single by Jacquez in the top of the second drove in Conaway to tie it up.
After a rough first inning, senior Jordan Warncke settled in on the mound and pitched two straight flawless innings. But Maryland-Eastern Shore was able to get to Warncke once again in the bottom of the fourth with two runs. The righty was able to get two quick outs to start the inning, but the Hawks didn’t go easy. Lorenzo Christy singled to shortstop to keep the inning alive and he was able to advance to second off a balk. Shaquille Bagwell singled to left field to bring in Christy and a single by Phil Vaughn moved him to third. A wild pitch by Warncke allowed Bagwell to come into score the final run of the inning.
The Mountain Hawks were able to respond in the fifth when McGaheran and junior Billy Goldman opened the inning with singles. With two runners in scoring position, their classmate Jim McConlogue grounded out to the shortstop to drive in McGaheran. The Brown and White couldn’t bring in Goldman, as the Hawks were able to get out of the inning.
Freshman Brandon Sady came into replace Warncke to start the fifth inning and the Hawks were able to add a final run. Tre-von Johnson opened the inning with a triple and he was knocked in off a sacrifice fly by Elliot Alston.
Lehigh couldn’t get anything going offensively in the final two innings, as Maryland-Eastern Shore held on for the win. Donnie Haines picked up the win on the mound for the Hawks, as he tossed a complete game. Warncke was credited with the loss as he went four innings and gave up three earned runs.
The Brown and White could only get six hits off Haines, as Goldman and McGaheran led the way with two apiece.
The Mountain Hawks will return home to the Goodman Campus and close out their non-league schedule with a game against Muhlenberg Wednesday afternoon at 3:30 p.m.
Main photo provided by Albert Jacquez