Posted: May 6, 2004
Philadelphia, PA – Lehigh made its initial trip to the brand new Citizens Bank Park a special one, as the Mountain Hawks defeated Villanova 11-3 on Thursday evening to win their first ever Liberty Bell Classic Championship.
It was Lehigh’s first ever appearance in the championship game of the tournament and after a slow start the Mountain Hawks broke it open in the sixth inning to run away with the victory.
With the win, Lehigh improves to 25-20 on the season, while Villanova falls to 25-19-1.
Those 25 wins for Lehigh are the second most in school history.
John Zaszewski got the scoring started for Lehigh with a mammoth blast over the left field wall in the bottom of the first to put the Mountain Hawks in front 1-0. Villanova then responded in the top of the second inning with two runs to take a 2-1 lead, but it was the last time the Wildcats would be in front. However, it would not be until the fourth inning that Lehigh would make its comeback when the Mountain Hawks added one more run to tie the game at two.
The score stayed knotted at two until the bottom of the sixth when the Mountain Hawks broke the game open with four runs, all with two outs. Freshman Matt McBride started the rally as he singled, followed by a Forrest Doane double, which scored McBride. Andrew Smith then walked and following a Villnova pitching change, David Moscow worked a walk to load the bases. A wild pitch by Wildcat pitcher Mike Ciccotelli scored Lehigh’s second run of the inning to make the score 4-2. The big blow was then dealt when Jeff Baker singled in two more runs and the Mountain Hawks were in front 6-2.
Lehigh added two more runs in the seventh as McBride unleashed a majestic homerun over the left field fence with Eric Hoffman on base and the lead was up to six at 8-2. Villanova scored once in the eighth, but Lehigh responded with three of its own to go in front 11-3.
Joe Raniszewski picked up the win for Lehigh as he goes to 2-2 on the season, and for Villanova, Nick Allen gets the loss and falls to 3-5.
Lehigh will be back in action on Saturday afternoon versus archrival Lafayette in West Point, New York in the semi-finals of the Patriot League Tournament. The winner of that game moves on to the championship round of the tournament versus host Army in a best of three series. Lehigh’s game with Lafayette will get underway at and all of the action will be heard live on Lehigh’s website at www.lehighsports.com, as Jeff Tourial and Micah B. Hart provide all of the commentary.
Photos copyright (c) 2004, Mike Stagnitta.