Posted: April 28, 2010
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh wrapped up its non-league schedule Wednesday afternoon at the Goodman Campus by hanging on to defeat Muhlenberg 7-4. The Mountain Hawks jumped out to a 6-0 lead, but the Mules kept fighting and had the tying run at the plate in the ninth inning. Sophomore Cory Kent came in and recorded his sixth save of the season to preserve the win for junior Kevin Mihalik. With the win, Lehigh improves to 19-24 on the season, while Muhlenberg falls to 16-19 with the loss.
“I thought we came out and executed the fundamentals well today,” head coach Sean Leary said. “It was good to get out to a big lead, but give credit to the Mules they’re a tough team and they fought hard until the end.”
After a scoreless first inning the Mountain Hawks’ offense exploded for six runs in the bottom of the second. With bases loaded and two outs, junior Brendan McGaheran came up with the first big hit, as he singled in sophomore Joe Conaway and junior Brendan Pifer. After McGaheran stole second and his classmate Billy Goldman walked, junior Kevin Mihalik came up with the bases loaded once again and he drilled a single to right field to bring in two runs. While attempting to steal, Mihalik got caught in a rundown which allowed Goldman to come into score. Mihalik reached second safely and junior Jim McConlogue doubled down the right field line to score Mihalik for the final run of the inning.
The Brown and White added its final run of the game in the bottom of the sixth off a Goldman RBI single that plated McGaheran. Muhlenberg, who was held in check offensively for the first six innings, finally broke through with a run in the top of the seventh. Clint Lynch was able to come in off passed ball by junior Chad Warga.
Lehigh took a 7-1 lead into the ninth inning, but the Mules would not go easy. Junior Sean Killeen came into pitch the ninth for the Mountain Hawks and after he recorded two outs he struggled with his command. Muhlenberg got its second run off a walk with the bases loaded and it would get its third off a passed ball. With the bases loaded once again and the score 7-3, Leary brought in Kent to close out the game. The Mules added their final run off a passed ball, but Kent was able to settle down and get Joesph DiCecilia to ground out to end the game.
Leary planned on using a committee of pitchers throughout the game and it was Mihalik who got the win after he pitched three shutout innings.
“Kevin has had a tough 48 hours personally and for him to come out and have a great day on the mound and at the plate was great to see,” Leary said.
At the plate, McGaheran (three), Conaway (three) and Mihalik (two) each had multi hit days, as Lehigh finished with 12.
The Mountain Hawks must now turn their attention to the weekend as they close out the regular season with a four-game series against Holy Cross. Lehigh’s six seniors will be honored prior to Saturday’s games at 11:30. Fans can go to Lehighsports.com for live audio of all the action this weekend.