Hoffman's blast lifts Lehigh to victory over Manhattan
Posted: March 24, 2004
Bethlehem, PA – Senior shortstop Eric Hoffman hit a two-run walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift Lehigh to its second come-from-behind win in as many days – this time, an 8-7 victory over visiting Manhattan on Wednesday afternoon at Goodman Field.
The victory is Lehigh’s second straight, and it improves the Mountain Hawks’ mark to 11-7 on the season.
The setback drops the Jaspers to 4-11 on the season.
The Mountain Hawks struck first, as first baseman Forrest Doane hit a one out solo homer to right in the bottom of the second to give Lehigh a 1-0 advantage. The home run was Doane’s second of the 2004 season.
The two teams traded runs over the next several innings until a three-spot in the top of the eighth gave the Jaspers a 7-6 lead.
That set the stage for Hoffman’s heroics. Right fielder Jeff Baker walked to lead off the final frame, bringing Hoffman to the plate. The right-hander belted a pitch over the wall in left field to give Lehigh the win. The blast was Hoffman’s third of the season, and the seventh of his Lehigh career.
Lehigh third baseman Steve Salemme also hit a homer – his second of the season – in the win. The Mountain Hawks used five pitchers on the afternoon, including Matt Mezzancello (1-2) who pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his first victory of the season.
Lehigh returns to the diamond on Saturday, when the Mountain Hawks open Patriot League play with a doubleheader at Army. Game one gets underway at noon, and both games will be broadcast live on Lehigh’s web site at lehighsports.com.