Lehigh advances to LBC semifinals with 3-2 win
Posted: March 28, 2007
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Junior Joe Ercolano scored the game-winning run off a wild pitch in the bottom of the tenth inning as Lehigh came from behind to defeat La Salle 3-2 Wednesday afternoon on the Goodman Campus in the opening round of the Liberty Bell Classic. The Mountain Hawks now advance to the semifinals of the tournament and will face Temple on April 3 with a time and location of that game yet to be determined. Lehigh improves to 9-9-1 on the season and will ride a three-game winning streak heading into Patriot League play this weekend, while La Salle dropped its fourth straight to fall to 7-12.
“Our pitchers did an outstanding job at working ahead of the batters and using our defense; it was our best effort so far this season,” said twelfth-year head coach Sean Leary. “[Senior] David Moscow made several great defensive plays early that kept us in the game.”
Both of La Salle’s runs came in the first inning. With the bases loaded and one out, Davis Hewett reached base on a fielder’s choice that allowed John Malloy to score. Then on the next play, Rich Prall scored off a Lehigh error to give the Explorers a 2-0 lead.
Lehigh was held scoreless until the fourth inning when sophomore Matt Reitz’s hit drove in junior Liam O’Connor. With runners on first and second, freshman Dan Clauson singled to left field, which allowed senior Nick Bet to score the tying run.
The two teams battled it out for the remainder of the game as La Salle was able to get just two hits, while Lehigh had one. Moscow caught six of his seven fly balls in the final six innings, including several that came dangerously close to becoming base hits.
The deciding run came as Lehigh had two outs when La Salle decided to intentionally walk Reitz. With a 3-0 count, Joe Vincent tossed a wild pitch that allowed Ercolano to come in from third to score the game-winner.
Sophomore Greg Mortka was awarded the win to improve to 3-1 on the season. In two innings of work, he fanned two batters and did not allow a hit or a walk. Vincent earned the loss after pitching 0.2 of an inning.
Lehigh returns to action on Saturday when the Mountain Hawks open Patriot League play with a doubleheader against the Bucknell Bison. First pitch is scheduled to begin at noon with the second game starting approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game.