Posted: April 14, 2007
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh’s losing skid continued on Saturday afternoon as the Mountain Hawks dropped both games of their doubleheader to Navy on the Goodman Campus, falling 6-1 in the first game and then 13-10 in the second game. After allowing Navy to score seven runs in the second inning of the second game, Lehigh rallied and eventually pulled to within one to make the score 8-7, but it would not be enough as the Mids hung on for the win. The Mountain Hawks have now dropped their last eight games to fall to 11-20-1 overall and 1-9 in the Patriot League, while Navy improves to 26-12 overall and 7-3 in league play.
“It was a tough day. Mitch Harris pitched a terrific for Navy in the first game,” said head coach Sean Leary. “In the second game, we just couldn’t take advantage of the opportunities that we had. We fought hard, but came up short.”
In the first game, Lehigh was unable to get anyone on base until freshman Patrick Groome doubled down the right field line in the third inning. At that point, Navy was leading 3-0 and Harris retired six of Lehigh’s first seven batters. However, Groome would be left on base as the Mids got the Mountain Hawks’ next two batters out to end the inning.
Navy added a pair of runs off RBI singles by Steven Soares and Michael Garcia in the top of the fourth to make the score 5-0.
Lehigh got on the scoreboard in the sixth when senior Nick Bet hit an RBI single to right center that scored freshman Christian Valeriano.
Garcia would have the game’s final run as he hit a solo homer in the seventh.
Junior Joe Matteo picked up the loss after four innings. Matteo had four strikeouts and allowed five runs off nine hits. Harris completed the game for the Mids and totaled 11 strikeouts. He allowed one run off five hits and had one walk.
After a scoreless first inning to open the second game, the Midshipmen came out strong in the second. Navy went through its batting order en route to scoring seven runs off five hits.
However, Lehigh began to chip away at the deficit. Freshman Dan Clauson hit a two-run double to right center in the third that drove in juniors Joe Ercolano and Liam O’Connor. Then a David Moscow single to left center scored Clauson to make the score 7-3 still in favor of Navy.
Michael Speciale scored off a Soares single to left center to give Navy a five-run lead in the top of the fifth, but Lehigh quickly made it a four-run game with Ercolano scoring off a sacrifice fly by Bet in the bottom half of the fifth.
Lehigh’s momentum continued into the sixth inning. The Mountain Hawks had two early outs to begin the inning before sophomore Michael Laychur was walked. Laychur advanced to third when freshman Danny Egly reached base off a Navy error and then scored off a wild pitch to make the score 8-5. Egly made it a two-run game when he scored off a double by Ercolano, who in turn scored off a single up the middle by O’Connor to make the game 8-7. However, Bet would ground to Garcia, who got O’Connor out on the force at second.
The game remained close until the top of the eighth when Navy exploded for five runs off five hits to take a 13-7 advantage. Despite having two early outs in the bottom portion of the inning, Lehigh clawed back. O’Connor sparked the offense with a double to left field. Consecutive walks to Bet and Clauson loaded the bases for Moscow, who ripped a two-run single to left field. Sophomore Geoff Campbell continued the offensive roll as his hit to right field scored Clauson to make the score 13-10. Unfortunately for Lehigh, the inning ended as Navy tried to pick off Campbell stealing second base, but saw Moscow making a charge towards home and was able to get Moscow out at the plate.
Lehigh held the Mids to just one hit in the ninth, but Navy’s defense concluded the game with a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth to hold off the Mountain Hawks’ rally.
Freshman Greg Angelo picked up the loss after he allowed seven runs off six hits in 1.1 innings. Mark McCoy was awarded the win after he pitched five innings, struck out four and allowed four runs off six hits. JD Melton was credited with the save after pitching the final 1.1 innings and allowing no hits.
Lehigh is scheduled to conclude its four-game series with Navy on Sunday at the Goodman Campus, weather permitting. The first game of tomorrow’s doubleheader is scheduled for noon with the second game beginning approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game.