BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Coming off of a tough weekend series at Army, the Lehigh baseball team (10-23-1, 2-6 PL) will look to rebound and build some momentum with three midweek games. The Mountain Hawks will host the University of Scranton Tuesday at 3:45 p.m. before heading to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Wednesday for a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m.
Lehigh won a pair of midweek games last week, defeating Temple 8-5 Tuesday and Delaware State 3-2 Wednesday before dropping four at first-place Army Saturday (1-0, 8-4) and Sunday (11-6, 17-8).
The Mountain Hawks had some stellar performances during the week as senior Cory Kent continued a strong season on the mound. On Wednesday, he recorded the save against Delaware State to help freshman Rene Tato earn his first collegiate victory. It was Kent’s third save of the season and 21st of his career, which ranks #3 all-time in Patriot League history.
The Easton, Pa. native has also emerged as the Mountain Hawks’ ace, taking a hard-luck loss in game one Saturday vs. Army. Kent allowed just one run on four hits in a complete-game effort, his fourth of the season. Kent leads Lehigh’s staff with a 2.52 ERA and a team-high 35 strikeouts in 39.1 innings pitched. Kent has also walked just 10 batters.
Offensively, senior Brendan McGaheran continues to swing a hot bat. The senior shortstop batted .417 (10-for- 24) over five games last week with four RBIs, seven runs scored, two doubles, a homer, a walk and four stolen bases. He had four multi-hit games for Lehigh, and he stole two bases in each of the Mountain Hawks' pair of midweek wins.
For his efforts, McGaheran was named to the Honorable Mention list on the Patriot League’s Weekly Awards release. It was the third time this season he has been named to that list.
The Nazareth, Pa. native leads the team with 39 hits, 26 runs scored, 54 total bases, three home runs and a .402 on-base percentage. He is currently hitting .312 which is second on the team as sophomore Joe Abeln is hitting a team-leading .319.
Abeln is also coming off of a hot week in which he hit .381 (8-for-21) with four RBIs and seven runs scored. The left fielder went 3-for-4 in game two Saturday and belted a two-run home run in game two Sunday.
Lehigh will look to keep its hot bats going on Tuesday first as the Mountain Hawks host Scranton (11-9, 4-4 Landmark Conference) on Goodman Campus. The Royals were in action Monday against Susquehanna, completing a three-game Easter weekend series. Scranton won both games of a double-header Saturday, 8-4 and 7-2. The wins snapped a four-game skid for the Royals.
Michael Gaeta paces Scranton hitting .358 with 24 hits, 17 RBIs and eight doubles. Nine Royals are hitting .320 or better as Scranton is hitting .312 as a team with a .405 on-base percentage.
On the mound, Corey Gorman leads the team with 41 strikeouts, while carrying a 3-2 record and 4.25 ERA. Robert Della Polla is also 3-2, with 33 strikeouts and a 4.61 ERA with three complete games. Freshman James Sawyer holds a 3.29 ERA, striking out 11 and earning a 1-1 record in three starts thus far.
Christopher Roman has three saves and has not allowed an earned run in four relief appearances, allowing just three hits in 4.1 IP.
On Wednesday, Lehigh will travel to the University of Maryland’s Eastern Shore (8-23, 7-5 MEAC). The Hawks have won three straight and six of their last seven. All six of those victories came against conference rival Coppin State, as UMES fell to William & Mary in a weekday contest between back-to-back three game series against the Eagles of Coppin State.
James Newsome leads the Hawks with 35 hits and a .469 slugging percentage while batting .310. He is second on team with 16 runs scored and 15 RBIs. As a squad, UMES is batting .242 with a .309 on-base percentage.
Jacob Foreman leads the team with 41 strikeouts, and is 3-4 in eight starts this season. Zachary Saca has a team-best 4.14 ERA in 37.0 innings of work.
For game updates Tuesday follow www.twitter.com/lehighsports and Wednesday’s games at UMES will have live stats along with live audio coverage.
After Wednesday, the Mountain Hawks resume Patriot League play with a trip to Bucknell for a four-game set with doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday.