Lehigh ninth-inning rally falls short in series opener versus LIU Brooklyn
Posted: 03/22/2013 | Last updated: March 22, 2013 at 07:26 PM
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh baseball team clawed its way back into its game against LIU Brooklyn on Friday on Goodman Campus before eventually falling 5-3. All three runs for the Mountain Hawks (10-8) came in the ninth inning, as consecutive RBI singles from sophomore Connor Faust and freshman Zach Gray put Lehigh within reach of a victory.
The Blackbirds (2-13) struck early in the first inning to get a run off an RBI groundout by Mike Garcia to go up 1-0. The run would be the only one to cross the plate while junior starter Colin Gotzon was pitching for the Mountain Hawks.
LIU Brooklyn scored two runs in the seventh inning on two Lehigh errors and benefited from a double by Evan Emerich to keep the inning going.
“We made a few more defensive mistakes than we would have liked to and it put us in a hole where we had to rally late,” Lehigh head coach Sean Leary said.
After John Ziznewski reached third on an error in the eighth inning, Kevin Needham drove him home with a single off freshman Kevin Long. A fielder’s choice from Diego Perez drove in Needham later on in the frame to put the Blackbirds up 5-0.
Lehigh was able to generate two runs from a pair of hits off Blackbirds reliever Brad Reimer in the ninth, with junior Joe Abeln also coming home on a Pete Leonello error.
Abeln was 1-for-3 with a run scored and Gray finished the game 3-for-4 with an RBI. Gotzon took a tough loss after allowing three hits, three unearned runs and striking out seven in 6.2 innings of work. Topa picked up the win after throwing eight shutout innings and striking out 10 to improve to 2-3 on the season. Needham earned the save by striking out sophomore Justin Pacchioli for the game’s final out. Seven of the Blackbirds starters had at least one hit, but Needham and Chris Untereiner led the LIU Brooklyn offense with 2-for-5 performances at the plate.
The Mountain Hawks will play a road doubleheader against the Blackbirds beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday before playing a single game at Temple at 3 p.m. Tuesday.
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