Lehigh earns second straight shutout with 1-0 win at Coppin State
BALTIMORE, Md. – Despite being no-hit by the opposition, the Lehigh baseball team took advantage of five errors by Coppin State to capture a 1-0 victory Saturday to open their three-game series against the Eagles. Junior catcher Joe Abeln scored the game’s only run and made the last out of the contest by throwing out Eagles pinch runner Dawan Smith at second base. The Mountain Hawks improved their record to 6-4 with the win, while Coppin State fell to 3-9 after the pitcher’s duel at Joe Cannon Stadium.
Lehigh threatened to break the scoreless tie in the third inning, which led off with a walk to freshman Mike Garzillo. A sacrifice bunt from junior Brandon Wilt and two-out walk to sophomore John Elson by Eagles starter Myles Taylor put runners on first and second. Senior Casey Turner grounded out to second for the third out however. Coppin State put pressure on Lehigh junior starter Colin Gotzon, who found himself with the bases loaded and one out in the fourth after walking Chris Godfrey, Alex Brown reached on an error and Nathan Pitts singled. Gotzon struck out John Walls and Jay Maletz to preserve the shutout.
Three Eagles errors in the seventh inning brought Abeln around the bases to score the game’s lone run. Ablen reached on an error from Pitts, the third baseman, and reached second on a sacrifice from sophomore Connor Faust. Garzillo walked following a strikeout by sophomore Lance Kirschenbaum and reached second on Pitts’ second throwing error of the game. Abeln finally reached home on a throwing error from the catcher, Brown, who was trying to throw out Abeln at third with Wilt at the plate.
Coppin State rallied in the eighth off sophomore reliever Nick Stephens with a leadoff walk to Jack Kraft followed by Chris Kashangaki getting plunked by a pitch. Stephens forced a pair of fly outs and got Brown to strike out for the second time to retire the side. A two-out single by Maletz in the ninth kept the Eagles hanging on, but Abeln’s throw to second beat Smith to the bag to seal Lehigh’s third straight win.
Kraft finished the low-scoring affair 1-for-2 with a walk for the Eagles, and Garzillo drew two walks for the Brown and White. Gotzon earned the win with seven scoreless innings, striking out as many batters and surrendering only three hits. He improves to 3-1 on the season and has fanned 16 batters in his last 16 innings on the mound. Stephens picked up his second save of the season for Lehigh. Taylor fell to 0-2 with the loss after walking five in eight innings of no-hit baseball. Darryl Martinez chipped into the no-hitter for the Eagles by throwing a scoreless ninth.
The Mountain Hawks play a doubleheader against Coppin State tomorrow with games beginning at noon and 3 p.m., respectively. The team will head to Greensboro, N.C. to take on UNC-Greensboro and NC A&T on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.
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