Posted: March 14, 2006
AMBLER, Pa. – Lehigh scored a season-high 23 runs, and senior hurler Kyle Collina struck out nine as the Mountain Hawks rolled to a 23-4 win over Temple on Tuesday afternoon at Ambler Field. The victory snaps Lehigh’s five-game losing streak; the Owls fall to 3-8 with the loss.
The 23 runs put on the board Tuesday by the Mountain Hawks represent the most runs scored in a game by a Lehigh team since a 27-7 win at Maryland-Eastern Shore in 2000. The Mountain Hawks’ 23 hits on Tuesday were also a 2006 season best.
Collina registered a season-high nine strikeouts in just five innings of work Tuesday to corral the win. He allowed just three hits and din not issue a walk. The triumph improves Collina’s record to 2-1 on the season.
After Andrew Smith drove in a run in the top of the first, right fielder Nick Bet added a two-run single to give the visitors a quick three-nothing lead. Bet later scored on an infield hit by Mike Sandonato, giving Collina a four-run cushion before the senior threw a pitch.
Up by a 6-1 score in the fourth, Lehigh first baseman Matt McBride ripped his team-best fourth home run of the season – a solo shot – to right field.
Temple picked up a run in the home half of the fourth to cut the score to 7-2, but Lehigh exploded for seven runs in the top of the fifth to blow the game open at 14-2. In that frame, LU designated hitter John Zaszewski drove home a pair of runs with a double down the left field line as the Brown and White scored seven unearned runs.
It was one of those days for the Lehigh offense, where everything seemingly went well. Six different Mountain Hawks had multiple-hit afternoons. Lehigh stole three bases, and recorded eight extra-base hits.
Jeff Benfield entered the game in the fifth inning as a pinch hitter for Lehigh, and after the junior was hit by a pitch in his first plate appearance, the new third baseman walloped three doubles in three official at-bats.
Zaszewski, Benfield, and Sandonato all had four runs batted in in the lopsided win. McBride and Smith scored four runs apiece.
The Lehigh offense left 12 runners on base in the game.
On the mound, sophomore Andrew Grim pitched three scoreless innings of relief, striking out three Owls and not allowing a hit.
Lehigh (6-7) returns to Bethlehem for its 2006 home opener on Wednesday, as the Mountain Hawks welcome Haverford to Goodman Field. First pitch is set for 3:00 pm.