BRONX, N.Y. – Fordham and Iona each handed the Lehigh baseball team a loss Saturday afternoon at Fordham’s Houlihan Park. The Mountain Hawks fell to the Rams and Gaels by scores of 8-4 and 4-1 respectively and are now 3-4 this season.
Coming off a 21-run performance in a doubleheader sweep Wednesday at Maryland-Eastern Shore, Lehigh’s offense cooled down significantly against both teams. Though sophomore Justin Pacchioli finished 3-for-4 at the plate against Fordham, three of the Mountain Hawks’ five runs in the two games came via the fielder’s choice. Seven errors in the two games also came back to bite Lehigh.
In Saturday’s first game against Fordham, the Mountain Hawks took a 3-1 lead in the second inning on a throwing error from Charles Galiano, which scored sophomores Connor Faust and Lance Kirschenbaum. An RBI single from junior Brandon Wilt capped the Mountain Hawks’ three run rally.
Fordham, who cruised to 5-2 on the season, scored seven runs in the next three innings to seal the victory. The Rams played small ball to score two runs in the fourth, which began with an Ian Edminston single up the middle followed by a sacrifice bunt by Joseph Devito. Ryan Lee raked a double to bring Edminston home and would eventually score from second after junior Mike Burke threw two of his three wild pitches.
Burke was pulled in the fifth after surrendered a two-run single to Ryan McNally. Edminston finished the contest 2-for-2 with two runs scored. Winning pitcher Joseph Serrapica struck out three Mountain Hawks in four innings of work and was tagged for just one earned run. Burke (1-1) allowed seven runs (five earned) on eight hits in four-plus innings before giving way to sophomore Nick Macaione.
In Lehigh’s second game of the day, Iona (2-6) built an early 3-0 lead on a pair of errors and a passed ball. An error on sophomore Connor Faust, scored Bobby Vitulano in the first, while an error on sophomore John Elson and a passed ball were responsible for the other two Iona runs in the second inning.
Max Bruckner continued to deceive the Lehigh hitters, fanning five batters in seven innings. Lehigh scored its only run on a fielder’s choice from senior Casey Turner in the sixth inning, but threatened with a late comeback attempt. The Mountain Hawks loaded the bases in the top of the ninth on a walk, a hit batsman and a fielder’s choice, but freshman Mike Garzillo flied out against Gaels reliever Steve Basile to end the game.
Sophomore Nick Stephens started on the mound for the Mountain Hawks in game two, allowing just one earned run on three hits in 4.1 innings of work. Stephens struck out five and walked two as he falls to 0-1 on the season. Freshman Kevin Long threw 3.2 innings of scoreless relief in the nightcap striking out four and walking two.
Lehigh ended the game with just two hits and a season-high five errors. Matt Hratko was Iona’s best hitter, finishing 2-for-4.
Lehigh will play games against Iona and Fordham at noon and 3 p.m. respectively. Both of tomorrow’s rematches will be held at Fordham’s Houlihan Park.