Posted: March 31, 2007
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Bucknell scored the game-winning run in the tenth inning of the second game as Lehigh fell in both games of its Patriot League opening doubleheader on Saturday at the Goodman Campus as the Bison cruised to a 7-2 win in the first game and took the second 8-7. This was the first time Lehigh dropped its first two league games since 2003 when the Mountain Hawks fell to archrival Lafayette 6-3 and 9-4. Lehigh now falls to 9-11-1 on the season and 0-2 in league play, while Bucknell improves to 9-10 overall and 2-0 in the Patriot League.
“What you expect in Patriot League play are the close games,” said head coach Sean Leary. “To their credit, the Bison executed better than us in both games.”
In the first game, Bucknell jumped out to a commanding 7-0 lead through the top of the second. Ryan Gryskevicz and Dane Grandizio hit two-run doubles in the first and second inning, respectively, while Austin Turban added an RBI single in both the first and second.
The Mountain Hawks got on the scoreboard in the fifth when senior Nick Bet doubled to right center that allowed freshman Mark Woleslagle to score. Bet would come around to score when sophomore Matt Reitz singled to center field.
Junior Joe Matteo picked up the loss after allowing seven runs in two innings of work. Matt Curry earned his third win of the season after he pitched five innings, allowed two runs and struck out four batters.
Both teams came out swinging in the second game. Jason Buursma hit a two-run single and Ed Rubbo had a sacrifice fly that scored Buursma as Bucknell jumped out to a 3-0 lead midway through the first.
It did not take long for Lehigh to respond as junior Liam O’Connor and Bet hit back-to-back doubles that cut Bucknell’s lead down to one. Reitz singled through the right side that allowed Bet to score the game-tying run. Reitz then advanced to third as freshman Dan Clauson singled to right center. Although freshman Billy Swenson grounded into a double play, his hit allowed Reitz to cross home plate and put the Mountain Hawks ahead 4-3.
Lehigh added a pair of runs from freshman Christian Valeriano and O’Connor in the second to go up 6-4, but the Bison pulled to within one by scoring two runs in the third inning.
Turban hit a two-out homer to right field in the sixth inning to knot the game at six. The Bison scored the go-ahead run in the seventh when Grandizio’s double allowed Rubbo to score.
However, the Mountain Hawks tied the game at seven-all in the bottom of the seventh when junior Joe Ercolano scored.
Bucknell looked to have hit the game-winner early in the tenth inning as Grandizio smacked the ball to deep left field, but senior David Moscow caught the ball near the warning track to record the inning’s second out. Ben Yoder scored the eventual game-winning run for the Bison in the tenth as he crossed home plate off a Gryskevicz double.
Sophomore Greg Mortka earned the loss for the Mountain Hawks after he allowed one run and two hits and struck out one batter in the final three innings. Buursma pitched the final 3.2 innings and allowed three hits and struck out five batters.
Lehigh returns to the diamond on Sunday when the Mountain Hawks wrap up their four-game series with Bucknell. Sunday’s doubleheader is scheduled to get underway at 11:00 am from the Goodman Campus.