PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Trailing 2-1 after five innings, junior Casey Turner drove in a run in the sixth and two in the eighth en route to a 6-3 win over Saint Joseph’s Tuesday. Turner finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs while sophomore Tyler Brong and senior Brendan McGaheran added two hits each. Freshman Jordan Smith earned the win in relief as he, sophomore Joey McNamara and senior Cory Kent combined to allow just five hits.
Lehigh finished the game with 10 hits, marking the sixth time in the last seven games in which the Mountain Hawks have produced at least 10 base knocks.
On Tuesday, seven of Lehigh’s hits came after the fifth inning.
Down 2-1, Lehigh came back in the top of the sixth after sophomore Joe Abeln walked and sophomore Tyler Brong singled to put runners on first and second with nobody out. Senior Joe Conaway moved the runners over with a groundout as Turner came up with the RBI single to tie the game 2-2. After a pop up and stolen base, Lehigh had runners on second and third with two outs but couldn’t come up with the go-ahead hit.
The Mountain Hawks did however take the lead in the top of the eighth. Brong led off with a walk and Conaway doubled down the left-field line. Turner again came up clutch, lining a two-run double to right-centerfield to put Lehigh up 4-2. Junior Brandon Sady tacked on an insurance run with a two-out RBI single and Lehigh scored another in the top of the ninth as Abeln drove in McGaheran.
McGaheran finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored as he extended his hit streak to seven games. Brong went 2-for-3 while Abeln and Sady each finished with one RBI.
Smith improved to 2-1 on the season, as he went 4.1 IP, allowing one run on two hits. McNamara started the game for the Mountain Hawks, throwing 4.1 IP and allowing two runs on three hits and struck out four.
Lehigh got on the board in its first at-bat after McGaheran led off with a walk, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on an Abeln groundout to second to put Lehigh up 1-0. Brong then singled and senior Joe Conaway was hit by pitch as the Mountain Hawks looked to rally with two outs. Turner singled on a blooper to centerfield but Brong was thrown out at the plate.
Saint Joseph’s threatened in the bottom of the third after the Hawks put runners on first and second with one out after a single and a walk. Facing the heart of Saint Joseph’s order, McNamara got the three-hitter to line out to right and struck out the cleanup hitter to get out of the jam.
In the top of the fourth, it was Lehigh’s turn to rally, putting the first two runners on thanks to back-to-back hit-by-pitches. But Brong was picked off second by the catcher, Turner fouled out to first and freshman Conor Faust lined a ball to the left side that was snagged by the third baseman as the Mountain Hawks were unable to take advantage.
The Hawks evened the game in the bottom half of the inning. After a hit-by-pitch and wild pitch put a runner on second, Saint Joseph’s came up with the two-out RBI single to right field. The batter advanced to second on an error, but McNamara stranded him there.
Saint Joseph’s rallied again in the bottom of the fifth loaded the bases with one out after a walk and pair of singles. The Hawks took the lead with a SAC line out to left, but that was all Lehigh allowed as the Mountain Hawks trailed 2-1 after five.
Lehigh came back to take the lead over the next four innings, but Saint Joseph’s attempted a comeback in the ninth with a solo home run. But senior Cory Kent came in after that, to get the final two outs and secure the victory.
Tim Ponto started for Saint Joseph’s, going 4.0 innings, allowing one run on two hits and striking out five. He also hit three batters. Jimmy Yacabonis (0-2) took the loss in relief. The Hawks were led by Anthony Cirillo’s 2-for-4 with two RBIs.
Tuesday marked the 27th meeting between the two schools as Lehigh improves to 14-11-2 all-time.
Lehigh will return home to Goodman Campus this weekend for a four-game set with Binghamton. Saturday’s doubleheader will begin at noon while Sunday’s games will begin at 1 p.m.