Lafayette Baseball Opens Patriot League Play With 6-3 Win Over Lehigh
March 29, 2003
EASTON, Pa. (www.lafayette.edu) - Lafayette scored all six of its runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to collect a 6-3 win over Lehigh in the Patriot League baseball opener on Saturday at Metzgar Field.
Lafayette (3-5, 1-0) got a complete-game victory from senior righthander James Duer who allowed just four hits on the afternoon. He gave up three runs, Lehigh's (8-10, 0-1) only runs of the game, in the first inning.
With a runner on and more than the typical Metzgar winds affecting play all game long, Lehigh's John Zaszewski drove a ball that easily cleared the centerfield wall to plate two runs. Two batters later Jeremy Mack connected for his first home run of the season to give Lehigh a 3-0 lead.
Duer (1-1) settled down after the first inning, keeping the Lehigh offense scoreless the rest of the afternoon. He struck out nine and walked five in his third start of the season.
Trailing 3-1 going into the fourth inning, Lafayette cut the lead to one on a solo home run from Craig Alexander, his first of the season.
The next inning, Lafayette continued to chip away at Lehigh starter Jack Muscalus. Senior leftfielder Russ Giglio led off the inning with a double down the rightfield line. Adam Rosenberg's double to right center plated him to tie the game, 3-3. Alexander again came through with a big hit for Lafayette, plating Rosenberg with his two-out single that gave Lafayette a 4-3 lead after five innings.
In the sixth inning, Duer walked the lead-off batter Jeff Quiros. The next batter Jeff Baker grounded into a 4-6-3 double play. Quiros, who argued the play with the first base umpire, was ejected after the play. Duer ended the inning with a groundout.
As the rains began to pick up in the bottom of the sixth, so did the Lafayette offense. Junior Jeff Rodgers belted a one-out triple down the rightfield line. Two batters later with Rodgers still at third, Giglio clocked his second double of the game to score Rodgers and make it 5-3. Giglio advanced to third on a wild pitch. Sophomore Rob Fioretti then drilled a ball up the middle off Muscalus' leg to plate Giglio and prompt a pitching change. Lehigh's Kyle Collina replaced Muscalus and enticed Rosenberg to ground out to end the inning.
Muscalus (3-1) left with the loss, having thrown five and two third innings while giving up six runs on 10 hits. He struck out three and walked one in his first loss of the season.
In the top of the seventh, Duer got Lehigh's first two batters to ground out. He then walked the Mountain Hawks' next two batters before striking out Jesse Novalis to end the game.
Lafayette and Lehigh were scheduled to play a doubleheader on Saturday, but continuing rain forced the game's postponement. It has not yet been rescheduled. However, the two teams are scheduled to face each other in doubleheader action on Sunday at Metzgar Field beginning at noon.
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