Posted: March 24, 2007
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh spilt its doubleheader with New Jersey Institute of Technology in the Mountain Hawks' home opener Saturday afternoon on the Goodman Campus. The Mountain Hawks scored one run in the bottom of the seventh to win the first game 7-6. Meanwhile, NJIT scored its game-winner in the top of the ninth to take the second game 5-4. Lehigh’s record stands at 6-9-1 on the season, while the Highlanders are 4-7.
NJIT’s Matt Schlitter set the tone early in the first game, blasting a home run to right center in the first inning. With runners on the corners, Matt Melody overthrew the ball to first baseman PJ Saporito in an attempt to pick off sophomore Matt Reitz. Senior Stephen Salemme evened the score at one on the play and Lehigh looked to take the lead as Reitz rounded third, but he was thrown out at home plate.
The score remained tied at 1-1 until the fifth when Lehigh scored five runs. The Mountain Hawks went through their batting order with junior Liam O’Connor hitting an RBI double and Salemme and Reitz each having two-run hits to give Lehigh a 6-1 lead.
However, the Mountain Hawks’ five-run lead would quickly disappear as Kwesi Mitchell hit a grand slam in the top of the sixth to pull the Highlanders to within one. NJIT evened the score at six in the seventh with an RBI single by Schlitter.
With runners on first and second, freshman Billy Swenson provided the Mountain Hawks with an RBI single allowed senior Nick Bet to score the game-winning run.
Sophomore Greg Mortka earned his second win of the season. Mortka pitched two innings, allowed one run and tossed two strikeouts. Cory Kuzmik picked up the loss after pitching for a third of an inning and allowing one run.
In the second game, NJIT got out to a quick start by scoring two runs in the first inning. Lehigh cut the lead to one in the second when senior David Moscow hit a sacrifice fly to left field that allowed Reitz to score. However, NJIT would score another two runs in the fifth off consecutive wild pitches to take a 4-1 lead.
Lehigh rallied and trimmed the Highlanders’ lead to two in the sixth and then tied the game 4-4 in the seventh with runs by junior Joe Ercolano and Reitz. That would be as close as the Mountain Hawks would get as Miguel Lugo doubled to right field to score Alan Roberts in the ninth.
Freshman Ken Longernecker picked up the loss after pitching 3.2 innings and allowing one run. Evan Bigler earned the win for the Highlanders, while Kuzmik had the save.
Lehigh returns to action tomorrow when the Mountain Hawks face NJIT in a doubleheader at Owen T. Carroll Field on the campus of Seton Hall in South Orange, N.J. First pitch is set for 12:00 pm.