BALTIMORE, Md. – The Lehigh baseball team (3-10) snapped its 10-game skid with a dominating 14-4 win at Coppin State (0-13) Tuesday. The offense exploded for 14 hits while all of Lehigh’s runs came in a six-inning span. Four Lehigh players had multi-hit games including senior Chad Warga, who was 3-for-3 with four RBIs. Sophomore Joey McNamara earned his first career win, pitching 3.2 shutout relief innings with seven strikeouts.
“It was good to get back on track today,” said Lehigh head coach Sean Leary. “I thought we had quality at-bats and we worked hard to get on base. Joey gave us a great lift out of the bullpen.”
The Mountain Hawks trailed 3-0 after the first two innings as Coppin State scored a run in the first and two in the second.
Lehigh’s bats then started to wake up in the top of the third with three straight singles, loading the bases to start the inning. After a strikeout, freshman Justin Pacchioli earned a RBI walk, but a groundball double play ended the rally.
Coppin State put runners on first and third in the bottom half of the inning as McNamara was called upon to get out of the jam. And he did just that, striking out back-to-back batters to keep Lehigh’s deficit at two runs.
The Mountain Hawks evened the game with a pair of runs in the top of the fourth. Lehigh loaded the bases again to start the inning after a a walk, double and another walk. Junior Brandon Sady reached on an error which scored a run and Warga hit a SAC fly. Again, Lehigh had a chance for more with runners on second and third and one out but were unable to deliver.
After McNamara shut down Coppin State in the bottom half of the inning, Lehigh finally broke through in the top of the fifth with four runs to take a 7-3 lead. Lehigh played small ball and took advantage of two Coppin State errors as the Mountain Hawks hit two singles, a RBI SAC fly and earned two walks in the inning.
Lehigh came back in the sixth and batted around, scoring four runs with two outs and without the need of an extra-base hit. After Pacchioli was hit by a pitch to start the inning, junior Casey Turner lined out and senior Joe Conaway grounded out which advanced Pacchioli to second. Sophomore Tyler Brong was then hit by a pitch and sophomore Joe Abeln drove in Pacchioli with an RBI single. Sady singled and Warga followed that up with a two-run single. Senior Ryan Gajdos was then hit by a pitch as was senior Brendan McGaheran for a RBI and a commanding 11-3 lead.
The Mountain Hawks tacked on one in the seventh on a Brong RBI single and two in the eighth on a two-run home run from freshman John Elson, the first hit of his career.
Lehigh’s bullpen of McNamara, senior Luke Porter and freshman Rene Tato held Coppin State to just one run on four hits over the game’s final 6.2 innings.
Along with Warga, Sady finished 3-for-5 with one RBI and two runs scored, Abeln was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored and Brong was 2-for-4 with one RBI and two runs scored.
Paul Hawk took the loss (0-3) in relief for Coppin State. Aaron Jones and Mike Wright combined for four of the Eagles’ eight hits.
Lehigh will look to keep the momentum going when it takes the field Wednesday at Delaware State. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m. and live stats will be available for the game: www.dsuhornets.com/liveStats/liveStats.dbml