Posted: April 15, 2006
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Lehigh helped its cause in the Patriot League standings with a crucial doubleheader sweep at Navy on Saturday afternoon. The Mountain Hawks beat the Midshipmen 3-2 in eight innings in game one, and 6-2 in game two. The pair of wins gives the Mountain Hawks a 6-4 league record at the season’s halfway point. With ten more games to go, Navy also now stands at 6-4 in the league.
In the first game, Lehigh took a one nothing lead thanks to an RBI single from third baseman Matt Geiger, scoring Mike Sandonato. A key at-bat in getting Sandonato home was a sacrifice bunt from Liam O’Connor with two strikes.
In the top of the fourth, first baseman Andrew Smith led off the frame with a solo home run to left – his second of the year – to make the score two-nothing, visitors.
The game stayed that way until Navy’s last at-bat. With two outs and no one on in the bottom of the seventh, Navy took advantage of three singles and a walk to tie the score at 2-2.
The Midshipmen had a chance to win the game, loading the bases in the home half of the seventh, but freshman reliever Geoff Campbell induced a pop-up from Navy left fielder Jared Munde to retire the side.
In the eighth, Lehigh broke through once again when right fielder Nick Bet singled home Matt McBride to make the score 3-2. Campbell (1-2) shut down the Mids in order in the bottom of the eighth to wrap it up.
In the second game, Smith singled home McBride to put the Brown and White up by a run in the top of the first. Navy quickly tied it with a run off Jed Davitt in the bottom of the first, and the game went into the sixth still tied at 1-1.
Joe Ercolano was hit by a pitch to start the sixth, and Matt McBride doubled off the left field wall to score Ercolano from first. The next batter, Smith, promptly tripled to right field to plate McBride and give Lehigh a 3-1 lead.
Navy got its first two runners on base via walks from Davitt in the bottom of the sixth, and Lehigh head coach Sean Leary went to his bullpen, calling on freshman Greg Mortka. Mortka coolly struck out the side, and kept his team in front.
Leading 3-2 in the ninth, the Mountain Hawks strung together five hits and scored three times to put the game out of reach.
Davitt (3-2) earned the win with a solid effort on the mound. Mortka was lights-out, striking out six in earning a four-inning save, his first of the season.
McBride had three hits and Smith two in the game two win.
Lehigh (16-21 overall) and Navy (26-12-1) wrap up their four-game series with another doubleheader at Max Bishop Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Game one gets underway at 1:00 pm, and sophomore Joe Matteo is scheduled to start for LU.