WORCESTER, Mass. – The Lehigh baseball team (23-20, 7-11) had two heartbreaking 4-3 losses on Saturday to the Holy Cross Crusaders. Lehigh heads in to tomorrow looking for a sweep against Holy Cross and help from around the league. The Mountain Hawks will have to earn two wins tomorrow and will need Navy to sweep Lafayette and the Bucknell-Army game to be a split in order to earn a berth in the Patriot League Tournament.
In game one, Mike Lebo pitched extremely well for Lehigh, as he went 6.1 innings, giving up just one run, three hits and allowing four total base runners. Lehigh had a 1-0 lead headed into the seventh inning, but the Crusaders rallied and tied the game in their last ups. In extra innings, the Mountain Hawks picked up two runs, but Holy Cross responded with three in the bottom half to earn the walk off victory.
Lebo was untouchable in the first four innings as he gave up no hits during that time. Lehigh had a big opportunity in the first inning when Brendan McGaheran reached first base on a leadoff single and then made his way all the way to third, which included a stolen base along the way. However, he was unable to score as Lehigh was held scoreless. In the fifth inning however, Lehigh got on the board when McGaheran reached second base on an error. Billy Goldman then drove him in to make it 1-0 in favor of Lehigh.
Lebo, who was just pitching phenomenal, entered the seventh inning in attempt to wrap up a big 1-0 victory. Holy Cross’ Stephen Wadsworthcame up big, hitting a double to left field to tie the score at 1-1, sending senior Nick Ciardiellohome after he singled in the first at-bat of the inning. This forced extra innings.
Lehigh struck first in the bottom of the eighth, when Casey Turner singled and then reached second and third base on a bunt and a wild pitch. Then, with Joe Abeln up, another wild pitch was thrown, scoring Turner. Austin Borden then scored on a fielder’s choice groundout, to give Lehigh a 3-1 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth. Holy Cross came back within one run on an error in the bottom of the eighth and then put runners on first and second for Eric Oxfordwho hit a two-run double to earn the walk-off win for Holy Cross.
In game two, Lehigh had a 3-0 lead after 4.5 innings of play. But Holy Cross got two in the bottom of the fifth and earned the game-tying and winning runs in the bottom of the sixth to take a 4-3 victory as well in the second game. Nick Cassell put in a great effort, tossing 5.1 innings of three-run ball.
In the top of the second, Kevin Mihalik, who walked earlier in the inning, scored on an RBI single by Borden. The Mountain Hawks earned another run in the fourth, when Borden scored on single from Brendan Pifer. Lehigh had a 2-0 lead at that point.
Things got interesting in the fifth inning. Mihalik scored on another RBI single by Borden to give the Mountain Hawks a 3-0 lead. However, Holy Cross struck in the bottom half as Mike Ahmed led off with a triple and then scored on a RBI groundout. Brendan McCreafollowed with a home run, to bring the score to 3-2 in favor of Lehigh.
The Crusaders then took the lead in the bottom of the sixth as Jordan Enoshit a home run to tie the score, followed by an RBI single to take a 4-3 lead on Lehigh. The Mountain Hawks were held scoreless from that point on.
Lehigh will look to extend its season beginning at noon tomorrow