Posted: 04/16/2012 | Last updated: April 16, 2012 at 04:25 PM
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh baseball team (14-26-1, 3-9 PL) will look to rebound after a tough weekend at Bucknell as the Mountain Hawks host Coppin State (0-34, 0-11 MEAC) Tuesday on Goodman Campus for Lehigh's lone midweek game. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m. Lehigh dropped three-of-four to Bucknell over the weekend, but the Mountain Hawks have won five straight midweek games and will look to keep that streak going.
Lehigh took game one in Lewisburg, Pa. over the weekend before falling in its next three. Senior Cory Kent earned the lone victory, throwing his fifth complete game of the season as he allowed five hits and struck out seven. The only run he gave up was with two outs in the final inning with the game already in hand.
Kent continues to lead Lehigh’s staff as he improved his team-best ERA to 2.28 while he also boasts a team-best 43 strikeouts on the season. Kent also earned his fourth save of the season during a midweek game at UMES as he now has 22 for his career, which ranks him No. 3 all-time in Patriot League history. For his efforts last week, the Wilson, Pa. native was named to the Honorable Mention list in the Patriot League's Weekly Awards release.
The Mountain Hawks went 4-3 last week, paced offensively by freshman John Elson who hit .458 (11-for-24) with one home run and 10 RBIs. The Basking Ridge, N.J. native hit a three-run homer to help lead Lehigh over Bucknell in game one on the weekend while Elson had a career-day in a 17-3 win over Scranton on Tuesday, going 4-for-6 with five RBIs.
Elson has 14 hits in his past nine games and is now hitting .321 this season, which is second on the team behind sophomore Joe Abeln who is batting .336. Abeln also leads the team with 25 RBIs while he is second in runs (30), hits (41), doubles (10) and home runs (2). Senior Brenden McGaheran leads Lehigh in three of those categories with 33 runs, 47 hits and three home runs.
McGaheran – who is on a six-game hitting streak – hit a milestone over the weekend as he collected his 200th career hit. The Nazareth, Pa. native currently has 202 for his career, which places him second all-time in Lehigh history and just four away from tying the all-time mark of 206 set by Jesse Novalis ’04. McGaheran is already Lehigh’s all-time leader in at-bats (669) and is third all-time in runs (135) and fourth all-time in doubles (43).
Tuesday’s game will mark McGaheran’s 178th game for the Mountain Hawks which will tie the all-time Lehigh mark set by Novalis.
Lehigh won a pair of midweek games on April 3 and 4, beating Temple 8-5 and Delaware State 3-2, respectively, before winning three midweek games last week, beating Scranton 17-3 and then UMES twice, 7-6 and 5-3.
The Mountain Hawks will look to continue that midweek success as they host a Coppin State team still looking for its first victory this season. It will be the second time the two schools have met this season as Lehigh won 14-4 in Baltimore, Md. In the game, the Mountain Hawks’ offense exploded for 14 hits while all of Lehigh’s runs came in a six-inning span. Four Lehigh players had multi-hit games including senior Chad Warga, who was 3-for-3 with four RBIs. Sophomore Joey McNamara earned his first career win, pitching 3.2 shutout relief innings with seven strikeouts. Lehigh actually trailed 3-0 in the game before scoring 14 unanswered runs.
Despite struggles this season, Coppin State is led by Alex Brown who is hitting .276 with a team-best 29 hits, six doubles and 13 RBIs. As a team, the Eagles are hitting .201. On the hill, Michael Roberts has a team-best 3.00 ERA in 14 appearances, allowing six earned runs in 18.0 IP. The Eagles have a team ERA of 8.25.
Wednesday’s game at Penn has been cancelled. Lehigh will return to action this weekend in its final home league series of the weekend as the Mountain Hawks host Holy Cross for four games, with doubleheaders set for Saturday and Sunday. Prior to Saturday’s noon start, a special senior ceremony will take place.