SAN JOSE, Calif. – The Lehigh baseball team (2-6) could not overcome an early deficit as the Mountain Hawks fell 5-2 at San Jose State (4-7) Monday. Junior Casey Turner went 2-for-4 with one RBI and one run scored while sophomore Tyler Brong had the other RBI, which came in a ninth-inning rally. Junior Brandon Sady also added two hits while on the mound, three Lehigh pitchers combined for nine strikeouts.
The Mountain Hawks dug themselves an early hole in the bottom of the third inning. Still scoreless, the Spartans had the bases loaded with two out. Freshman Nick Stephens then gave up a four-pitch walk and allowed a two-run single on a 1-2 count as Lehigh fell behind 3-0.
After going down in order in the fourth, Lehigh started to make some noise in the fifth. Sophomore Brandon Wilt led off the inning with a single and Sady followed that up with a single as the Mountain Hawks had runners on first and second and nobody out. Lehigh could not take advantage though striking out and then grounding into an inning-ending double play.
In the bottom half of the inning, San Jose State tacked on two more runs on four singles.
Lehigh got on the board in the top of the sixth. Senior Brendan McGaheran led off with a walk and stole second and a batter later, advanced to third on a wild pitch with one out. Turner then drove him in with a groundout to second.
Trailing 5-1, Lehigh pitchers held San Jose Stats without a hit for the final three innings as the Mountain Hawks tried to make a comeback. Lehigh went down in order though in the seventh and eighth inning before putting together a little rally in the ninth.
Turner hit a one-out single and then advanced to second on defensive indifference. With Lehigh down to its final out, Brong drove in Turner with a single but the rally would come up short.
Stephens took the loss, dropping to 0-1 on the year. He went 4.1 innings, allowing four runs on four hits while striking out three. Freshman Jordan Smith and senior Cory Kent pitched the final 3.2 innings. Smith allowed one run on three hits while striking out two in 1.1 while Kent didn’t allow a hit in 2.1 shutout innings and struck out four.
Zack Jones picked up the win (1-0) for San Jose State, throwing 4.0 shutout innings and allowed two hits while striking out six. At the plate, the Spartans were led by designated hitter Caleb Natov who went 2-for-4 with four RBIs.
The Mountain Hawks will now have a couple of days to regroup before facing San Jose State again on Thursday at 9 p.m. The game will be the first of four in three days for Lehigh as part of the Jack Gifford Memorial Tournament.