Posted: April 6, 2010
PHILADELPHIA – Lehigh scored runs in seven of the nine innings on Tuesday and it needed every single one of them, as it held on for a 13-12 win over Temple in game one of the Liberty Bell Classic. The Mountain Hawks posted a season-high 18 hits as the two teams combined for a total of 37 in the game. Junior Sean Killeen was the star on both sides for Lehigh, as he picked up the win on the mound and drove in three runs at the plate. With the victory the Brown and White improve to 9-16 (2-2) on the season, while Temple falls to 3-20.
“On windy days like today when it’s a hitter’s day you just have to fight for ways to come out with the win and I thought we did that,” head coach Sean Leary said. “Every time Temple fought back and came close we went ahead again. It was really a great day offensively for us.”
Leary continued talking about Killeen. “He came in the game with the bases loaded and was able to strike out one of their middle hitters to get out of the jam. Sean really did the best job of all our arms today and he gave us a big lift at the plate as well.”
Lehigh used small ball to get on the board first, as junior Billy Goldman bunted for a single to get the first hit of the day for the Brown and White. After stealing second, Goldman was singled in by his classmate Andrew Russell to give the Mountain Hawks a 1-0 lead after the first inning.
The Owls were able to respond in the bottom of the first, as they got to senior Ken Longernecker for two runs. Jabair Khan led off the inning with a walk and he tied the game off a RBI single from Ryan Ferguson. Steve Nikorak then gave the Owls the lead with a sac fly that scored Tony Jusino.
Junior Logan Winchester led off the top of the second inning with a single and with one swing of the bat Lehigh regained the lead. Killeen followed up Winchester with a big two-run home run to right field to make the score 3-2.
After a Temple pitching change in the top of third, Russell kept up the power display by hitting a solo shot to right field to increase Lehigh’s lead to 4-2. The Mountain Hawks weren’t done in the inning, as Winchester recorded his second hit of the day with a big double to right field. Killeen added his third RBI of the game with a double of his own that scored Winchester. Sophomore Joe Conaway hit Lehigh’s third straight double to knock in Killeen and give the Brown and White a 6-2 lead heading into the bottom of the inning.
Khan was able to get Temple within three runs in the bottom of the third with a solo home run, but the Brown and White kept up its hitting with another run in the top of the fourth. Junior Jim McConlogue joined the hit parade with a RBI triple to give Lehigh a 7-3 lead.
Temple cut the score to 7-6 after five innings, but the Mountain Hawks were able to add to their lead in the top of the sixth. Junior Brendan McGaheran made it 8-6 after he scored on a fielder’s choice by McConlogue. Winchester followed him up with a RBI triple to give the Brown and White another tally.
The hitting show wasn’t over yet, as the Owls were able to come right back in the bottom of the sixth with three runs to tie the game.
Conaway opened the seventh inning with his second double of the game to get things started for Lehigh. Freshman Alex Jacquez bunted to get Conaway to third and his classmate Brandon Sady delivered the tie-breaking hit. After Sady advanced to third on a wild pitch and stolen base, Goldman singled him in to add another run. McConlogue closed out the scoring in the seventh by knocking in McGaheran to bring the score to 12-9.
Leading 12-11 heading into the ninth, McConlogue added his fourth RBI of the game to provide the final insurance run for the Mountain Hawks. Temple would not go away easy, as it put two runners on in the bottom of the ninth, but Sady was able to come in and pick up his first career save.
“Brandon came in and really competed,” Leary said. “On a hitter’s day he came in and grinded it out to pick up the save. It was a tough situation for a freshman to come into and he handled it well.”
Lehigh used a total of six pitchers to get through the Owls and it was Killeen who ended up with the win. Killeen pitched 1.2 innings and gave up only one run to earn his first career win with the Brown and White.
A total of six Mountain Hawks finished with multi-hit games: Goldman (three), Winchester (three), Killeen (three), Russell (two), McConlogue (two) and Conaway with two as well.
The Mountain Hawks will return to action Wednesday afternoon at 3:15 p.m. against Villanova in game two of the Liberty Bell Classic. The Wildcats defeated La Salle 13-4 Tuesday afternoon in their first round game of the classic.