Lehigh lets big lead slip away in setback at N.C. State
Posted: March 25, 2005
Raleigh, NC – The Lehigh offense launched an all-out attack early on at North Carolina State on Friday afternoon, building a 9-0 lead over the hometown Wolfpack in game one of a three-game series at Doak Field.
But in the end, N.C. State
rallied late for a heartbreaking 10-9 victory over the Mountain Hawks.
The victory improves N.C. State’s record to 16-8; the setback drops Lehigh’s record to 8-6-1 in 2005.
With the bases full in the top of the second, Mike Sandonato singled home a pair to give the visitors a two-nothing lead. In the top of the third with a runner aboard, back-to-back doubles from Andrew Smith and Matt Geiger plated two runs to make the score 4-0 Lehigh. Center fielder Joe Ercolano ripped a single down the line to plate Geiger, giving the Mountain Hawks a 5-0 advantage.
With two on in the top of the fourth, sophomore Matt McBride ripped a 2-1 pitch over the fence in left for his first homer of the season, seemingly blowing the game open.
Trailing 9-0 in the bottom of the eighth, the hometown Wolfpack put seven runs on the board – all with two outs – to cut the Lehigh lead to 9-7.
In the home half of the ninth, N.C. State completed the comeback by scoring three more times to earn the win.
Joel Hockman (1-2) was saddled with the loss out of the bullpen for Lehigh. Jack Muscalus pitched seven strong innings for the Mountain Hawks, earning a no-decision. Muscalus allowed one unearned run while scattering four hits and striking out two on the afternoon.
The Mountain Hawks and Wolfpack resume their series on Saturday afternoon. Due to impending inclement weather on Sunday, the two squads will play a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon in an attempt to beat the rain. First pitch of game one is set for Noon from Doak Field in Raleigh.