Posted: February 26, 2007
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Senior Greg Angelo saw his first extended action of the season on Sunday and the Mountain Hawks lefty responded with a gem of a performance as he threw six innings of scoreless baseball in helping lead Lehigh to a 5-0 win over Binghamton in the nightcap of a doubleheader. Angelo struck out seven and scattered three hits in his six innings of work, while junior Andy Russell hit a two-run home run in the first inning that proved to be the difference as Lehigh improved to 4-10 on the season. In Sunday’s first game the Mountain Hawks were unable to hold a five-run lead as Binghamton pushed the game into extra innings before coming away with an 11-10 win. Following Sunday’s action the Bearcats sit at 4-9.
Sunday marked Angelo’s first extended action in two seasons for the Mountain Hawks. The senior southpaw missed all of last year with an injury and the Lehigh coaching staff had been working him back slowly prior to his six shutout innings on Sunday. Angelo gave way to classmate Rob Russell for the final three innings and Russell responded by getting the final nine outs and allowing just two hits. He also struck one batter out.
“Greg was outstanding out there for us today,” Lehigh head coach Sean Leary commented afterwards. “We needed a pitcher to step forward for us and he did just that. We challenged him between games and he responded with terrific senior leadership and a great performance.”
Leary continued with his thoughts on how Angelo responded after being out for an extended period of time. “We’ve thrown him in short spurts but I thought for his first real action in quite some time that he looked very sharp. It makes us excited to know that our veteran leadership is back in our rotation.”
He added, “Rob Russell was outstanding as well. Our bullpen guys had been solid early in the season but recently they’ve struggled a little bit. Rob suffered the loss this previous week at Saint Joseph’s, but we told him to be ready and that we’d get him back out there right away and he answered the call today. We need our five seniors to step up as a whole and of late they have been the strength of our staff.”
Lehigh jumped out to a 2-0 lead in game two in the bottom of the first when Andy Russell smacked his second home run of the weekend over the right field wall. Billy Goldman had been on base after laying down a beautiful bunt for a single. The score remained 2-0 until the bottom of the eighth when the Mountain Hawks tacked on three insurance runs. Goldman led off with a double and moved over to third on a Russell ground out. Sean Killeen was then intentionally walked, bringing up Jim McConlogue who delivered a huge opposite field base hit to right field, which drove Goldman home and made it a 3-0 game. “We had just taken the safety squeeze off there and Jim came up with a nice hit to right field. We were able to manufacture runs in that situation which was great to see,” Leary said.
Lehigh was not done though as Austin Borden stepped to the plate and attempted a bunt, which Binghamton pitcher Zach Juliano fielded and threw away which brought home pinch runner Brandon Sady. Logan Winchester stepped to the plate next and delivered a run-scoring single as Lehigh opened up a 5-0 lead. Russell then retired the side in the ninth as Lehigh earned its second straight split versus the Bearcats.
“Andy’s homerun in the first was huge for us,” Leary said. “Our key players played better for us in the field and delivered clutch hits when we needed them to. It’s nice to win a close one like we did today because we’ve had a couple of really close losses early on.”
James Giulietti suffered the game two loss for the Bearcats. He went 7.0 innings and struck out nine, but did allow Russell’s first-inning homer.
In game one the Mountain Hawks jumped all over Binghamton as Killeen crushed an opposite field home run to left field to give Lehigh an early 3-0 lead in the first. The Brown and White added two more runs that half and led 5-0 after one.
The lead swelled to 9-4 in the third when Lehigh unleashed a two-out rally. With Winchester on base, Chad Warga singled to left field, putting runners on first and second. Brendan McGaheran then doubled to right center, bringing home both Mountain Hawks and making it a 7-4 game. A Billy Goldman single brought home McGaheran and Lehigh’s ninth run crossed when Andy Russell struck out but the ball got past the Binghamton catcher and he threw it over the first baseman’s head attempting to get Russell at first.
Binghamton began crawling back into it with three in the sixth and the Bearcats tied the game at nine with two more runs in the seventh. The big blow was a two-out single by Joel Stubbs that brought in the game-tying run.
Binghamton took its first lead of the day in the eighth when Jim Calderone came around on a Dave Ciocchi single, but the Mountain Hawks answered in their half to tie things at 10. The Mountain Hawks scored on Russell’s double to right center that plated McGaheran.
Joe Charron led the ninth inning off with a home run to left center for Binghamton as the visitors grabbed an 11-10 lead and Lehigh went one-two-three in the bottom half as the Bearcats took the opener.
Alex Adami earned the win as he went three innings, struck out three and allowed a single earned run. Kevin Mihalik suffered the loss for the Mountain Hawks after giving up two earned runs in two innings of work.
Lehigh Baseball - Binghamton Post-Game Extra
Lehigh remains at home and will be back in action on Wednesday afternoon when the Mountain Hawks play host to NJIT on the Goodman Campus. The first pitch is set for 3:00.