Posted: 04/14/2012 | Last updated: April 14, 2012 at 04:27 PM
LEWISBURG, Pa. - The Lehigh baseball team (14-24-1, 3-7 PL) split a pair of games with Bucknell (17-19, 4-6 PL) Saturday. The Mountain Hawks took game one 8-1 before falling in game two 11-5. Senior Cory Kent threw a seven-inning complete game to earn the victory in game one as he was backed by a pair of home runs including a three-run blast by freshman John Elson.
It was Kent’s league-leading fifth complete game of the season as he allowed just one run on five while striking out seven. Kent improved to 2-3 on the year while lowering his ERA to a team-best 2.28.
Lehigh had nine hits in game one from eight different Mountain Hawks including two each from sophomore Tyler Brong and senior Ryan Gajdos. Along with Elson’s homer, junior Casey Turner also delivered a home run, a solo shot in the sixth inning.
Before the Mountain Hawks scored eight straight runs over a five-inning span, Lehigh had to first get out of a jam in the bottom of the first inning when Bucknell threatened with runners on second and third and nobody out. Kent induced a fly ball to right field where Turner made the catch and then proceeded to throw out the runner at home. After a walk and stolen base, Kent got the final out on a strikeout to escape trouble.
The Mountain Hawks rode that momentum to the top of the second where senior Joe Conaway led off with a double. Turner grounded out to advance Conaway to third and he scored on Brong’s RBI double. Elson then advanced Brong to third on a fly out before senior Chad Warga came up with the clutch two-out RBI single to give Lehigh a 2-0 lead.
Lehigh extended its lead in the top of the fourth thanks to a three-run homer by Elson, his second of the year. Conaway led off with a walk and after a ground out and fielding error, Elson came up with a blast over the left-field fence.
In the top of the sixth, Turner led off the inning with a homer to centerfield, his first of the year. Lehigh then tacked on two more runs in the inning thanks to a two-run Gajdos double.
Bucknell scored its lone run of the game in the bottom of the seventh on a RBI groundout. The Bison had just five hits on the game, two coming from David Duffett. Dan Weigel (6-2) suffered the loss for Bucknell, throwing 5.0 IP and allowed seven runs - six earned - on seven hits.
In game two, Lehigh fell behind 2-0 in the bottom of the third after a double and RBI triple and then a RBI single a couple batters later.
The Mountain Hawks earned a run back in the top of the fourth on a SAC fly from Brong to score Conaway, who reached on an error by the shortstop.
The Bison responded with three runs in the bottom of the fourth on five singles, including three straight with one out as Lehigh trailed 5-1.
Bucknell tacked on two in the bottom of the sixth but Lehigh cut the deficit to 7-4 thanks to a three-run seventh. Elson laced a one-out double and Warga drove him in with a RBI single. Sophomore Brandon Wilt tripled to right center to score Warga and Wilt scored on a RBI single by senior Brendan McGaheran.
The Bison though extended its lead with four runs in the seventh, all coming with two outs. The big blow was a inside-the-park three-run home run.
Lehigh scored a run in the top of the ninth, but fell 11-5.
The Mountain Hawks produced 10 hits, three coming off the bat of Wilt while Elson added two hits.
Freshman Nick Stephens started for Lehigh and fell to 1-5 as he threw 4.0 IP and allowed five runs on nine hits while striking out three.
Bryson Hough (2-6) earned the win, throwing 6.1 IP and allowing four runs - three earned - on nine hits while striking out four. Alex Cillo picked up his sixth save of the season, pitching the game’s final 2.2 innings, allowing one run on one hit. Bucknell had 17 hits in the game as Carter Bumgardner was 3-for-5 with three RBIs and Colby Vanderbeck was 3-for-4 with four RBIs.
Lehigh will face Bucknell in two more games tomorrow, with game one starting at noon. Live stats will be available for both games.