BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh baseball team celebrated Senior Day on Saturday afternoon with a two-game split with the Bucknell Bison on the Goodman Campus. Lehigh lost the first game, 10-3, but managed to pull out a thrilling 8-4 victory in the second contest, a game where Lehigh took the lead in the eighth inning.
In game one, Brendan McGaheran led off the bottom of the first with a scorching double over the centerfielder’s head. After reaching third base on a passed ball, McGaheran scored on a Kevin Mihalik sac-fly to give the Mountain Hawks a 1-0 lead.
The Bison had a big second inning, as they hit four-straight singles which allowed for four runs to score in the inning. Bucknell had a 4-1 lead at that point. However, Lehigh would strike in the bottom of the third inning. Logan Winchester hit a double to the opposite field, scoring two runs and shrinking the Bison lead to 4-3.
That would be all Lehigh could get in the first game though, as the Mountain Hawks were held to just two hits after the third inning. Bucknell managed to add six runs to finish the game with a 10-3 victory.
In game two, McGaheran leadoff the bottom of the first inning with a single. Billy Goldman then followed with a ripped single down the right field line, which advanced McGaheran to third. Goldman then stole second base to set up a Kevin Mihalik two-run double. Sean Killeen then continued his hot streak of hitting as he singled in Mihalik to give Lehigh a 3-0 lead.
Cassell gave up his first runs of the game in the fourth inning. The Bison connected on an RBI single and Matt Lamore had an RBI double to cut the Lehigh lead to 3-2. The Mountain Hawks then responded in the bottom half of the inning as Killeen again came through with a two out single. That set up a Chad Warga RBI double to give the Brown and White a 4-2 lead. Bucknell would tie the game though on RBI singles in the sixth inning.
In the top of the eighth inning, Bucknell had two runners reach base on singles with one out. Luke Porter, who pitched solidly in relief, was replaced by defending Patriot League pitcher of the week Cory Kent. In the first batter he faced, Kent forced a dribbler back to the mound, escaping the jam with a 1-6-3 double play.
Lehigh carried that momentum into the bottom of the eighth inning. With two outs and nobody on, Austin Borden got things started as he worked a walk. Warga then continued his big day with a single, followed by a Brendan Pifer first pitch RBI single off the new reliever, Marcus Garone. McGaheran then had a two-run double down the left field line and scored on a throwing error as he was advancing to third. Lehigh took an 8-4 lead to the top of the ninth, where Kent shut the door and earned his fifth victory of the season.
Lehigh will close the series with Bucknell in a doubleheader tomorrow beginning at noon.