Posted: May 16, 2010
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh received yet another strong pitching performance on Sunday afternoon but the Mountain Hawks bats were never able to get going as Lehigh’s 2010 season came to a close with a 3-0 loss to Holy Cross in the semifinal round of the Patriot League Tournament. Lehigh starter Mike Lebo threw six innings on the day, scattering six hits, while striking out four and allowing three earned runs before giving way to senior Greg Angelo who threw three scoreless innings in relief, but it was not enough as Holy Cross’ Nate Blanchard threw eight shutout innings en route to the victory. Lehigh ends its season with a record of 23-27, while the Crusaders move onto the Patriot League championship series and improve to 25-24.
“The guys just competed so hard all weekend and our pitchers were outstanding,” Lehigh head coach Sean Leary said afterwards. “It’s tough to give up only six runs in three games but not get the result you would like.” He continued, “Mike Lebo was great today. We needed our offense to be a little better, but give credit to Holy Cross, they played great.”
Leary then gave his thoughts on Angelo, who was held out of a start this weekend due to a minor injury he recently suffered, but did manage to throw three very strong innings on Sunday. “We knew Greg would be out there competing, that was never a question. He was able to keep us in the game, we just needed to get that one big hit and were never able to.”
Lehigh was only able to manage just four hits on the day, while Holy Cross totaled seven. The game was very clean in the field, with only one combined error by the teams.
Holy Cross took a 1-0 lead in the fourth as John Sills and Matt Perry began the inning with back-to-back singles. Stephen Wadsworth then bunted the runners over to second and third and that brought Eric Oxford to the plate, who grounded out to second base, which plated Sills to give the Crusaders a 1-0 advantage.
The visitors added to their lead in the top of the sixth when they plated two more runs. Perry got things going with a one-out single and he came around on Wadsworth’s double to left field. Oxford then ripped a single to right field which brought home Wadsworth and made it a 3-0 game. That was all the offense Blanchard would need as he went eight innings on the hill, and did not surrender a run. The right hander struck out two and walked only two. Nate Koneski came on in the ninth to earn the save as he threw one perfect inning.
Lehigh’s best scoring chance came in the sixth when the Mountain Hawks put runners on the corners with two outs, but Andrew Russell popped out to end the inning.
Lebo suffered the loss despite putting forth a strong performance. No Mountain Hawk had more than one hit on the day as Brendan McGaheran, Billy Goldman, Jim McConlogue and Sean Kileen each collected hits.
Leary added his thoughts on this year’s strong senior class. “I’d really like to thank our seniors for everything they did for us this season. They led us from start to finish and really made a choice about the direction they wanted this season to go; they played for the team, they led us to a second place regular season finish and the opportunity to host the opening round of the playoffs so I’m very proud of what they did for us this season. They are a tremendous group of leaders and we’re going to miss them.”
Lehigh - Holy Cross Post-Game Extra