Posted: 03/24/2012 | Last updated: March 24, 2012 at 06:58 PM
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh baseball team (5-15-1) played a pair of crisp games but fell 3-1 and 6-4 to Binghamton (5-7) Saturday. Senior Cory Kent pitched a seven-inning complete game to start the afternoon while senior Ryan Gajdos had two of Lehigh’s five hits including a solo home run. In the second game, Lehigh’s rally fell short after trailing 5-0. Senior Brendan McGaheran extended his hit streak to eight games.
"Binghamton is an outstanding team and I thought our guys competed exceptionally well," said head coach Sean Leary. "We made minimal mistakes today, but to Binghamton’s credit, they took advantage and they didn’t have an error or walked batter all day. If we play like we did today during the Patriot League season, we are going to see better results."
Lehigh had 13 hits on the day, three coming off the bat of McGaheran. He also scored a pair of runs and had six total bases. Gajdos finished the day 2-for-5 with a run scored and five total bases. Sophomore Tyler Brong, junior Casey Turner and senior Joe Conaway also each added two hits on the day.
In game one, Lehigh took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third as Gajdos led off the inning with a home run to left-centerfield, his first of the season. Binghamton came back in the top of the fourth to tie the game on a double and RBI single. In the top of the fifth, Binghamton scored again to take a 2-1 lead after a double, a SAC bunt to advance him to second, and a single drove him in.
Lehigh had a chance in the fifth to even the game after the Mountain Hawks put together a two-out rally with back-to-back singles from Gajdos and McGaheran, but Lehigh was unable to take advantage.
The Bearcats tacked on an insurance run in the top of the seventh on a solo home run while Lehigh was unable to get anything going in its final at-bat.
Both pitchers went the full seven, as Binghamton’s Mike Augliera allowed one run on five hits and struck out 10 without walking a batter to improve to 2-2. Kent fell to 1-2 as it was his second seven-inning complete game loss of the season.
Lehigh had five hits in the game, two coming from Gajdos, one from Turner, one from Conaway and one from McGaheran. Binghamton was led by a pair of 2-for-3 performances from Jake Thomas and Joel Stubbs.
In game two, Lehigh fell behind 5-0 after four innings. Binghamton scored two unearned runs in the top of the first after Lehigh committed an error trying to turn a double play. The Bearcats scored three more times in the top of the fourth. One run came from a wild pitch and then with two outs, Binghamton scored on a RBI single and RBI double.
Conaway finally broke up Binghamton’s perfect game with a one-out double in the top of the fifth and Turner followed with a single. Junior Brandon Sady drove in a run with a fielder’s choice to put Lehigh on the board. Lehigh scored again in the bottom of the sixth as McGaheran led off the inning with a home run to left-centerfield, his second of the season.
Binghamton tacked on a run in the top of the seventh while Lehigh came right back to score two in the eighth to cut the deficit to 6-4. But the Mountain Hawks were unable to get a rally going in the bottom of the ninth.
Freshman Nick Stephens started, throwing 4.0 IP and fell to 0-3 for Lehigh. McGaheran and Brong each had two hits, combining for four of Lehigh’s eight hits in the game.
Binghamton’s Jay Lynch improved to 2-2 as he went 6.0 IP, allowing two runs on five hits while striking out five. Lee Sosa picked up his first save of the season, throwing 1.1 IP, allowing just one hit while striking out three. Offensively, Binghamton was led by Jordan Sucker who went 3-for-5 with two RBIs while Brian Ruby also added three hits.
Lehigh and Binghamton have now met 27 times as Lehigh has an 11-15-1 all-time record. The two schools split the four-game set in 2010 as the Mountain Hawks will be looking to win a pair of games Sunday for the same result.
Sunday’s doubleheader is slated to start at 1 p.m. For game and weather updates, follow Lehigh Athletics on Twitter: www.twitter.com/lehighsports