Posted: March 1, 2008
PALM BEACH, Fla. – The Mountain Hawks opened their first game of the Palm Beach Challenge with an 8-7 loss to St. Bonaventure, on Saturday. Matt Reitz led Lehigh offensively with two RBI and one run scored. Joe Matteo made the start on the mound, pitching 6.1 innings, giving up three earned runs on eight hits, while striking out four to earn a no decision. The loss snaps Lehigh’s two game winning streak and drops its overall record to 2-5, while the Bonnies improve to 5-2.
St. Bonaventure got on the board first, scoring two runs in the bottom of the second. Lehigh answered right back, with two runs of its own in the top of third to tie the game at 2-2. Billy Swenson got the scoring started with an RBI single. Joe Ercolano added a sacrifice fly to right field to bring in the Mountain Hawks other run.
Brendan McGaheran added an RBI double in the top of the fourth, to give Lehigh its first lead of the game, 3-2. The Bonnies responded with a run in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game up at 3-3.
The Mountain Hawks offense exploded for four runs in the top of the fifth to make it a 7-3 ballgame. Swenson and Ercolano reached base to start the inning. Freshman Billy Goldman laid down a sac bunt, however, an error by the pitcher allowed Swenson to score from second and for Goldman to advance to second base.
Reitz knocked in the next two runs of the inning with an RBI double, brining home Goldman and Ercolano. Logan Marshall drove in the fourth run of the inning, on a ground out to the shortstop that brought in Reitz from third.
St. Bonaventure closed the gap in the bottom of the seventh, scoring two runs off Greg Mortka, who came into relieve Matteo. In the bottom of the eighth, Mortka recorded the first two outs of the inning, before he allowed a triple to Kyle Gorby. The next batter, Jesse Bosnik, reach on a throwing error by Liam O’Connor, which allowed Gorby to score and Bosnik to advance to second, making it a 7-6 game.
Brad Steinbach stepped up to the plate next, and singled to bring home Bosnik and tied the game at 7-7. The Bonnies took the lead on a double by Anthony Randich, to bring home Steinbach.
The Mountain Hawks could not mount a comeback in the top of the ninth, as the team picked up its fifth loss of the season. Mortka (0-1) was credited with the loss, pitching 1.2 innings, giving up three unearned runs on four hits.
Lehigh is back in action on Sunday, when they take on Boston College at 11 a.m. from Palm Beach, Florida.