BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh baseball team dropped a pair of 11-9 and 7-5 losses to the Iona Gaels on Sunday afternoon. For the weekend, the Mountain Hawks finish 2-2 in games with Iona.
Billy Goldman singled and stole second and third base to give the Mountain Hawks a scoring opportunity with one out. Goldman then scored on a pitcher’s balk. The Brown and White had a 1-0 lead after the first inning.
Iona went on the board in the second, scoring on an RBI double. Casey Turner led off the bottom half of the inning with a monster shot to deep centerfield. Freshman Joe Abeln then scored Turner on a sacrifice fly. Lehigh retook the lead after two innings in the book.
The Gaels tacked on three more runs in the next two innings and Lehigh scored one, making the score 4-3 in favor of Iona after five innings of play.
With Lehigh trailing headed into the final inning, McGaheran led off the inning with a base hit and then Goldman was plunked by a pitch. Mihalik then hit a sacrifice fly to trail by one. Logan Winchester’s RBI groundout then tied the game at five, forcing extra innings after the regularly scheduled seven.
After three scoreless extra innings, Iona struck with two runs in the 11th to take the 7-5 game one victory.
In game two, Lehigh was extremely aggressive on the base paths. McGaheran led off the first inning by reaching on an error. He stole second base during Billy Goldman’s at bat, giving the Mountain Hawks an immediate scoring opportunity. Andy Russell then singled in McGaheran to give Lehigh a 1-0 lead. Russell then stole second base and later scored on Logan Winchester’s single.
With one out in the top of the fourth, two Iona runners reached base safely. Chris Griffin of the Gaels then roped a double over centerfielder Billy Goldman’s head, scoring the two runners and tying the game at two. The Mountain Hawks responded in the bottom half of the inning, as Ryan Gajdos had a beautiful drag bunt for hit. McGaheran then rocketed a double to left centerfield, scoring Gajdos from first. Lehigh had a 3-2 lead.
The back and forth game continued into the fifth inning, as Iona strung together three singles and a double to take a 5-3 lead. Luke Porter came in to relieve Warnke and shut the Gaels down in order to escape the jam.
Lehigh put a four-spot up in the seventh inning, but was unable to hold on to the lead, as Iona answered with a six-run eighth to take an 11-8 lead. In the bottom of the eighth inning, Mihalik crushed a homerun over the left field fence. That would not be enough though, as the Gaels took game two 11-9.
The Mountain Hawks will be back in action on the Goodman Campus on Wednesday at 3 p.m.