Posted: March 3, 2008
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh picked up its second straight win, with a 7-6 victory over St. Bonaventure, Monday afternoon in Palm Beach, Fla. Joe Ercolano provided the Brown and White with a late spark, when he stole third in the seventh, and scored on the subsequent throwing error. Geoff Campbell (1-0) earned the win in relief, pitching 1.1 innings, giving up just one run on three hits. The Mountain Hawks improve to 4-5 with the win, while the Bonnies fall to 5-4 on the season.
St. Bonaventure struck first, in the top of the first, with a two-out homerun to right field by Anthony Randich. Lehigh responded in the bottom of the third with a leadoff homerun by Billy Swenson, his first of the season, to make the score 2-1. The Brown and White picked up three runs in the next inning and took its first lead of the game, 4-2.
The Bonnies did not go away quietly, scoring one run a piece in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings to take a 5-4 lead. St. Bonaventure had chance to put the game out of reach in the sixth, with the bases loaded and two away. Lehigh brought in Campbell, to relieve starter Kevin Mihalik, and he caught Tristan Mulcahy looking at the third strike, to put an end to the threat.
In the top of the seventh, St. Bonaventure looked as if it was putting together another rally, as the Bonnies had runners on second and third with one away. Campbell intentionally walked the bases loaded, bringing up Randich, who hit a homerun earlier in the game. The strategy looked as if it was not going to pay off, as Randich hit a hard hit groundball towards shortstop Liam O’Connor. O’Connor was able to make a great diving stop, and still recover in time to turn the double play and put an end to the inning.
The Mountain Hawks picked up two runs in the bottom of the seventh, as Ercolano capitalized on great base running, to give Lehigh a 6-5 lead. Ercolano knocked in the first run of the inning on an RBI single, bringing home Swenson to tie the game at 6-6.
The next batter up, Danny Egly, reached on a fielder’s choice, putting runners on first and second with two down. With Austin Borden at bat, the Mountain Hawks attempted a double steal, as Ercolano broke for third and Egly took off for second. The throw by catcher Brandon Salerno was off the mark, and Ercolano continued to home on the play, giving the Brown and White a 7-6 lead.
Lehigh added another run in the bottom of the eighth, on an RBI single by Billy Goldman. St. Bonaventure was threatening in the top of the ninth, having already scored one run, they had runners on first and second with just one out. Once again Randich stepped up to the plate with the chance to for some late inning heroics, but the result was the same as the seventh inning, as reliever Jordan Warncke got him to ground into a 5-4-3 double play.
Warncke pitched the final two innings, giving up one run on three hits, to earn his first career save. Mihalik went 5.2 innings to earn a no decision. He gave up four runs on six hits and struck out four.
Lehigh is back in action tomorrow night at 7 p.m., traveling to Coral Gables, for a game against No. 8 University of Miami.