Posted: April 10, 2007
PHILADELPHIA – Under the bright lights of Citizens Bank Park, the Mountain Hawks were unable to snap their losing skid as archrival Lafayette used a four-run first inning to get by Lehigh 7-3 in the Liberty Bell Classic championship game. It was the fifth straight loss for the Mountain Hawks, who remained winless in the first five games of the season. Lehigh drops to 11-17-1 on the season, while Lafayette has won nine of its last ten games to improve to 17-11 overall.
“Lafayette just played better,” said head coach Sean Leary. “We are working hard to stop those big first innings and we need to do that in order to be successful. For the last three weeks, we have struggled and built a hole early in the game. It is tough to play a game from four runs behind.”
Lafayette got the scoring underway when Nick Benvenuto’s double down the left field line scored Jeff Butler. Then Dave Drechsel concluded the inning with a three-run blast that hit off the left field foul pole.
Lehigh’s offense came out in the second. Senior David Moscow hit the ball to third base, but beat out the throw to register the Mountain Hawks’ first hit of the game. Moscow advanced to third off a Christian Valeriano single to center field. With Valeriano attempting to steal second, Dreschel’s throw was off target and allowed Moscow to score to make it a 4-1 game.
Lafayette looked as if it would score again in the second as the Leopards had the bases loaded with one out. However, Mike Raible lined out to sophomore Geoff Campbell at third base, who also got Tyler Zeronda out on the play.
The two teams would remain scoreless until the bottom of the seventh when Lafayette tallied two more runs. With Raible on third, Drechsel laid down a bunt single that allowed Raible to score. Drechsel would then steal second and eventually score off a Chris Luick single to make the score 6-1.
The Leopards scored their final run in the eighth with Jeff Butler scoring off a Kevin Leasure single to left center.
However, Lehigh’s offense was not finished as the Mountain Hawks tallied their final run in the ninth. With one out and runners on first and second, Campbell singled to right field that drove in Mosow. Junior Joe Ercolano added another RBI single when his hit drop just short of a diving Leasure and allowed freshman Glenn Seitz to score.
Junior Billy Alec picked up the loss after he allowed the Leopards’ four runs in the first inning. Brian Cope was awarded the win after he tossed three strikeouts and allowed one run in 5.1 innings.
The Mountain Hawks return to action tomorrow when they face Rider in Lawrenceville, N.J. Game time is scheduled for 3:00 pm