Posted: April 10, 2006
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh and Holy Cross wrapped up their Patriot League baseball series with a doubleheader split at Lehigh’s baseball field on the Goodman Campus on Monday afternoon. The host Mountain Hawks built a big lead, squandered it, and won in dramatic fashion in a 9-8 game one victory. The Crusaders then rallied from an early five-run deficit and pummeled the home team in a 17-5 game two rout.
The split leaves Lehigh at 14-20 overall and 4-4 in league play. The Crusaders head back to Worcester, Mass. with a 12-13-1 overall mark and a 3-5 league record. Following the day’s Patriot League action, the Mountain Hawks are in fourth place – two games behind first place Navy.
In the first game, things got off to a promising start for the Brown and White. Lehigh scored five times in the first inning, thanks in part to an RBI double from Andrew Smith and a rare, but perfectly executed, steal of home plate by Nick Bet.
The Crusaders whittled the lead down to one meager run with a pair of scores in both the third and fifth innings off Lehigh starter Joe Matteo.
In the home half of the sixth, the Mountain Hawks seemingly put the game out of reach, scoring three times to go up 8-4.
However, in the top of the seventh, Holy Cross loaded the bases with one out and pinch hitter Gil Gomez unloaded a grand slam to left field, tying the game.
In the bottom of the seventh, with the score knotted at eight apiece, Lehigh shortstop Liam O’Connor came up with two outs and two on. O’Connor hit a ground ball to third in which Tyler Stampone made a diving stop on an infield hit that would have loaded the bases. Stampone uncorked a wild throw to first base, allowing Matt Geiger to score with the game winning run.
Lehigh freshman Greg Mortka pitched one inning of relief, improving to 1-0 with the win. Sandonato had a big game at the plate, going three-for-three with two RBIs and a run scored.
In game two, the Mountain Hawks built a quick 5-1 lead once again, scoring three times in the first and two more in the second. But it was all Crusaders from there. Holy Cross scored in six of the nine innings, and ripped 17 hits in a 17-5 win over LU.
Stampone led Holy Cross in game two, going three-for-six with a double, a triple, and three driven in. Outfielder Norm Roth was three-for-four with four runs scored and four more driven in in the win.
Dan Seip allowed only two earned runs in seven innings to get the win on the hill for the Crusaders.
Lehigh is right back in action Tuesday, as the Mountain Hawks host BIG EAST member Villanova. Game time is set for 3:00 pm from the baseball field on Goodman Campus. The game can be heard live on the web at Lehighsports.com, with streaming provided by Yahoo! Sports. Jeff Tourial and Steve Lomangino will broadcast the action.