Posted: April 16, 2007
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – After being delayed one day due to rain, Lehigh was able to finish its four-game series with Navy down at Terwilliger Brothers Field at Max Bishop Stadium on Monday. The Mids took the final two games by scores of 7-2 and 8-3. It was the second consecutive four-game league series the Mountain Hawks dropped—a first for the program since the Patriot League switched to four-game series in 1995. Lehigh, riding a ten-game losing streak, falls to 11-22-1 overall and 1-11 in the league, while Navy improves to 28-12 on the season and 9-3 in league play.
In the first game, Lehigh took a 1-0 lead at the end of the first inning. On a 3-2 count, junior lead-off hitter Joe Ercolano, who broke into Lehigh’s career top-five list for hits in Saturday’s second game, singled to left center. Classmate Liam O’Connor then doubled to right center which allowed Eroclano to score the game’s first run.
The Mids did not trail for long as they evened the score in the second inning with a Joshua Martinez RBI double down the left field line. Navy’s offense would explode with a four-run fourth inning. The Mids had two outs when Renaldo Hollins’ single up the middle allowed Steven Soares to score the go-ahead run. Then with the bases loaded, Mitch Harris smacked a three-run double to right center to make the score 5-1.
Navy increased its lead to six in the fifth inning when Drew Lydon scored off a double down the left field line by Martinez, who eventually scored off a wild pitch to give Navy a 7-1 lead.
Lehigh scored once more in the game, this time coming in the seventh. With one out, Ercolano reached base off a Navy fielding error to load the bases. As O’Connor grounded out to Navy shortstop B.J. Bickel, freshman Patrick Groome scored to make the game 7-2.
Groome was the only Mountain Hawk to register multiple hits at the plate as he was 2-for-2. He hit a single to center field in the fourth and then a single to third base in the seventh. Meanwhile, O’Connor batted in both of Lehigh’s runs.
Sophomore Bill McDonnell picked up his first loss of the season. McDonnell pitched four innings and struck out one batter, but allowed five runs off five hits. Oliver Drake was awarded the win after pitching 6.1 innings, striking out seven and allowing two runs off five hits.
In the second game, the Midshipmen jumped out to an early 2-0 lead midway through the first inning and retained that lead until the bottom of the third. With the bases load, O’Connor reached on a fielder’s choice that allowed sophomore Michael Laychur to score off a throwing error. Then senior Nick Bet stepped up to the plate and ripped a two-run single to left field that scored sophomore Geoff Campbell and Ercolano to give the Mountain Hawks a 3-2 advantage.
However, Navy retook the lead in the fifth with a Lydon two-run double down the right field line. The Mids continued to increase their lead in the sixth inning, scoring their final four runs of the game off a two-run single by Harris and a two-run double to center field by Tom Hamilton.
Laychur was the only Mountain Hawk to register multiple hits in the second game, going 2-for-3 from the plate, while Bet recorded two RBI.
Senior Joel Hockman was awarded the loss after he fanned four batters, but allowed four runs off seven hits in five innings of work. Yale Eckert earned the win after he pitched eight innings, struck out six and allowed two runs off six hits.
The Mountain Hawks return to action tomorrow when they travel to Penn. Game time is set for 3:00 pm from Meiklejohn Stadium.