Posted: 03/27/2012 | Last updated: March 27, 2012 at 06:31 PM
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh baseball team (6-16-1) loaded the bases twice, including once with nobody out, but were unable to take advantage as Lehigh fell 5-0 to Delaware (11-14, 4-5 CAA) Tuesday in the first game of the Liberty Bell Classic. Lehigh didn’t help itself, committing four errors while Lehigh pitchers walked eight batters. Senior Brendan McGaheran had one of Lehigh’s five hits, extending his hitting streak to 12 games.
“We respect Delaware, they are great team, but everything they got early in the game was given to them by us with walks and errors,” said head coach Sean Leary. “It was still only a 2-0 game, but we were a little frustrated that we gave them more opportunities. We just need to get back to the drawing board a little bit. Guys are pressing and we just need to make some of our own breaks.”
With the Classic being a two-game guarantee, Lehigh will travel to take on Temple Tuesday, April 3 at 3 p.m. The Owls fell to Saint Joseph’s Tuesday, 4-1.
Lehigh starter sophomore Colin Gotzon shutdown Delaware in the opening frame, including striking out a pair looking but then he got into trouble in the second as Delaware got on the board without a hit.
After a leadoff walk, the runner advanced to second after Gotzon’s throw to first on a pickoff attempt went wide. After a second walk, senior catcher Chad Warga threw out the runner trying to steal third base. A third walk of the inning put runners back on first and second with nobody out. After a strikeout and a fourth walk, freshman Nick Macaione came into the game. A wild pitch scored a run as the other runners advanced a base, but he then got out of the jam to limit the damage.
In the bottom half of the second, it was Lehigh’s turn to rally. After two quick outs, freshman Conor Faust singled, senior Ryan Gajdos was hit by a pitch and Warga reached on an error to load the bases. Junior Brandon Sady hit a hard ball up the middle, but the second baseman speared it and got the force out at second to end the inning.
In the top of the third, Delaware again scored a run without the benefit of a hit. With one out and a runner on first via a walk, another pickoff attempt by a Lehigh pitcher went awry as this time the runner advanced all the way to third. On a foul out to first, the Delaware runner faked as if he was going home, drawing a throw from Faust that went over the head of the catcher, allowing the runner to score.
After both teams went down quietly over the next couple of innings, Delaware opened up its lead in the fifth scoring three runs on four hits, including another run on a wild pitch. The Blue Hens’ first three runs of the game were all without a RBI.
In the top of the eighth, Lehigh found itself with a golden opportunity to get back into the game, loading the bases with nobody out after Warga singled, pinch-hitter freshman John Elson was hit by a pitch and McGaheran singled. Freshman Justin Pacchioli then hit a blooper that dropped in front of the centerfielder, who then fired it in to home to throw out Warga for the force play. With the bases still loaded and one out, Lehigh was unable to get anything going as Mountain Hawks batters struck out looking in two straight at-bats.
Gotzon fell to 1-3, as he went 1.2 IP allowing one run without a hit on four walks while striking out three. Sophomore Mike Burke and senior Dan Ciccone combined to pitch the final 4.1 innings as the two allowed just one hit.
Along with McGaheran, junior Casey Turner, Faust, Gajdos and Warga each had one hit.
During McGaheran’s current 12-game hit streak, eight have been multi-hit games. In each of the past two weeks, he has been named to the Honorable Mention list on the Patriot League’s weekly awards.
Delaware’s Dan Gatto earned the win (2-1), going 6.0 IP and giving up just three hits while striking out four. Stephen Richter earned the save – his second of the season - as he came in to pitch the eighth with the tying run on deck.
Of the Blue Hens’ five runs, two were driven in, those coming from Jimmy Yezzo and Nick Ferdinand.
Tuesday marked the 77th time the schools have as Lehigh is now 20-57 all-time against Delaware. The two met last season in the semifinals of the Liberty Bell Classic when the Mountain Hawks also dropped a 5-0 decision on Goodman Campus.
Lehigh will look to rebound this weekend when the Mountain Hawks kick off Patriot League play. Lehigh will host rival Lafayette for doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday, game one on both days will start at noon.