March 30, 2013
EASTON, Pa. - The combination of Robert Tatum and Mitch Leeds paired to throw five scoreless innings out of the bullpen as Lafayette held off Lehigh 10-6 in game two of a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at Kamine Stadium. The win helped Lafayette to a split after the Leopards dropped the first game, 7-4.
Lafayette (4-20, 1-1) matched a season-high with 15 base hits, paced by Andrew Ruck's 3-for-5 performance that featured a home run and three RBI. Tatum earned his second win of the season in relief.
Hits and runs were frequent for both sides as Lafayette held an 8-6 lead after four complete innings in the nightcap of the doubleheader. The Leopards scored in each of the first four innings and got things started with Ruck's solo shot in the first inning that tied the score. Ruck came through again in the next inning with an RBI base knock to finish off a four-hit, three-run outburst that put Lafayette up 4-1.
Lehigh (12-11, 1-1) answered with three of its own the next time up, and two more in the fourth to erase the deficit after the Leopards plated two in the bottom of the third. It was Parker Hills' run-scoring double that finished Nick Cassell's outing for Lehigh. Cassell was tagged for seven hits and six earned runs in 2.1 innings on the hill, before he handed the ball to Joey McNamara.
McNamara helped Lehigh get the final two outs of the third, after allowing run-scoring hits to Thomas Dunleavy and James McCool. Lafayette added a pair of runs the next time up on RBI base hits by Campbell Lipe and Hills.
The score remained 8-6 in favor of Lafayette through six and a half innings as the relief pitching for each team settled in to shut down the opposing offense. The duo of Tatum and Leeds combined to fire three innings without surrendering a hit, while Lehigh's Jordan Smith tossed scoreless frames in the fifth and sixth before he ran into trouble in the seventh.
Dunleavy reached on a bunt single prior to McCool drilling a one-hopper off the wall in left. The sophomore's RBI double chased home Dunleavy, extending Lafayette's cushion to 9-6, and two batters later Ruck sent a two-out single up the middle to score McCool. Smith was able to get Kevin Casey looking on a 2-2 pitch to end the inning as Lafayette led 10-6.
The freshman, Leeds, picked up where he left off in Lehigh's half and retired the side in order. In the ninth, Leeds finished off Lehigh to claim his second save of the season.
The Mountain Hawks took game one by a 7-4 final and were led offensively by a 4-for-4 effort from Joe Abeln, who also drove in four runs. Starting pitcher Colin Gotzon picked up the win in 5.1 innings on the hill after allowing four runs, three earned, on four hits and struck out eight. Thomas O'Malley claimed his first save of the year, tossing 1.2 innings of one-hit ball out of the pen.
Lehigh wasted no time in getting on the board in the top of the first inning, as leadoff man Justin Pacchioli was hit by a pitch from Leopards' starter Alex Farina. Pacchioli advanced to third base on a pair of steals before Abelen punched a two-out hit into right center, giving Lehigh an early one-run lead.
The Leopards went down 1-2-3 in the bottom half, before Farina sent Lehigh back in order in the next frame, including a pair of strikeouts of Patrick Walshe and Brandon Wilt. Hills gave Lafayette its first baserunner of the game with a two-out single through the left side, before Lipe scalded an RBI double inside the chalk in left field off Gotzon to tie the score at 1-1.
With nobody out and the bases full for Lehigh in the third, Farina forced Tyler Brong to ground into a 5-2-3 double play for the first two outs. Abelen came back to the plate with runners on second and third and delivered with a bases-clearing double to left, giving Lehigh a two-run cushion.
Gotzon struggled to find his control in the Leopards portion of the third, walking Andrew Santomauro and Dunleavy before Ruck loaded the bases with an infield single. A wild pitch scored Santomauro and then Casey drew an intentional walk. With one away and the bags packed, Gotzon bared down and struck out Lafayette's next two hitters to preserve the 3-2 lead.
Three straight hits to open the fourth, capped by Wilt's two-RBI single to right ended Farina's afternoon and extended Lehigh's lead to 5-2. Farina worked three innings and surrendered five runs on six hits, while fanning three and walking three others. Cory Spera came on in relief of Farina and quickly escaped the inning without any further damage.
Leading 5-2, Abeln's standup triple to deep centerfield pushed across another tally for Lehigh in the fifth before Spera induced a groundout to end the threat and his outing after two frames. Lehigh tacked on an insurance run in the sixth against Derek Gussaroff before Connor McMahon hurled a scoreless seventh inning.
The Leopards drew within three with a two-run sixth inning when Casey began the rally with a standup double before two Lafayette batters were hit by pitches, surrounding a walk to Lipe. Hills later scored on an error, before O'Malley struck out Dunleavy swinging with the bases juiced.
Lafayette and Lehigh play again on Sunday afternoon in a seven-inning and nine-inning doubleheader. First pitch from Kamine Stadium is slated for Noon and the games can be seen live online at GoLeopards.com/allaccess