Strong pitching leads to win over Notre Dame
Posted: March 6, 2008
PALM BEACH, Fla. – Lehigh capitalized on great pitching all game from Rob Russell (1-0) to earn its fifth win of the season, and fourth in its last six games, with a 4-2 win over Notre Dame Thursday in Palm Beach, Florida. In his first start of the year, Russell went 6.2 innings, allowing just two runs on four hits to earn the victory. The Mountain Hawks improve to 5-6 on the year, while Notre Dame falls to 4-4.
The Brown and White scored the first three runs of the game early on, capped off by a Joe Ercolano two-run homerun in the top of the third, giving Lehigh a 3-0 lead. It was Ercolano’s first homerun of the season, and sixth and seventh RBI.
Russell continued to pitch well over the next few innings and the Lehigh defense backed him, turning a couple of nice double-plays, as Lehigh went into the seventh with a 3-0 lead. The Irish finally got on the board on a solo homerun by Evan Sharpley, his second of the season, to cut the lead to 3-1. Notre Dame knocked in another run on an RBI single to cut its deficit to 3-2.
Notre Dame looked as if it was going to strike again in the bottom of the eighth, as the Irish had the bases loaded with two away, but Jordan Warncke got Jeremy Barnes to pop out to right field to put an end to the threat.
Brendan McGaheran led off the top of the ninth with his first career homerun, a solo shot and Lehigh stayed ahead for a 4-2 win. Warncke pitched the final 2.1 innings to earn his second save of the season.
This was Lehigh’s first-ever win over Notre Dame, a two-time participant in the College World Series.
The Mountain Hawks return to action tomorrow against Air Force. The game is scheduled to begin at 2:45 p.m. from Palm Beach, Florida.