Lehigh travels to UNC-Wilmington for season-opening three game series
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh baseball team is set to kick off its 2013 season this weekend with a three-game set in North Carolina at UNC-Wilmington. The Mountain Hawks will take the field this season building on its young talent to make a run at a second Patriot League crown. This season’s roster consists of 19 sophomores and freshmen along with the 12 seniors and juniors.
The Mountain Hawks finished the 2012 campaign with an 18-31-1 overall record and a 6-14 mark in Patriot League play. Lehigh will feature a deep pitching staff that consists of 15 right-handers and two southpaws along with a line-up that includes four catchers, eight infielders and eight outfielders.
Among the top offensive returnees are leading hitter Tyler Brong, who batted .319 with 17 RBI a year ago, and third baseman Connor Faust, who hit .311 in his rookie campaign. Lehigh’s top run producer a year ago, Joe Abeln, is also back as he transitions from the outfield to catcher. Abeln batted .289 with two home runs and 25 RBI a season ago.
On the mound Lehigh will look to its junior class, including right handers Nick Cassell, Colin Gotzon and Mike Burke to lead what is a young pitching staff.
After endless hours training and working over the offseason and the spring, Lehigh will finally get the chance to begin to put it all together when the Mountain Hawks take the field for their season opener Friday, in a contest that has been moved up to 2 p.m. due to the threat of inclement weather. Lehigh is 1-0 all-time against UNC-Wilmington, posting a 5-4 win in North Carolina in its 2010 season opener. The Seahawks are 2-3 on the season, with two wins over Kent State, to losses to Virginia Tech and, most recently, a 7-6 loss at Charleston Southern on Wednesday.
The Seahawks captured their third tournament crown in 2012 and played in their fifth NCAA tournament UNC-Wilmington has been picked by the league’s coaches to defend its Colonial Athletic Association baseball title in 2013. The league also released its preseason all-conference team that included five Seahawks.
The three game series will begin Friday with first pitch for game one set for 2 p.m. The middle game of the series will be played at 2 p.m. Saturday, and the series will wrap-up with a 1 p.m. finale on Sunday.
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Story by Taylor Boyd ‘13