Baseball Stifled in Doubleheader at Lehigh
March 31, 2012
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Hitting and fielding woes plagued the Lafayette baseball team in Saturday's Patriot League opener at Lehigh. The Leopards dropped both ends of the twin bill, 3-1 and 10-2, despite a four-hit afternoon from Andrew Santomauro.
Lafayette now stands at 6-17-1 and 0-2 in the Patriot League. The Mountain Hawks improve to 8-17-1 and 2-0 in the league. The four-game series concludes tomorrow with another double-dip in Bethlehem beginning at noon.
Santomauro went 4-for-6, including a 3-for-3 showing in the nightcap. The sophomore centerfielder drove in a run and scored a run while hitting one of the Leopards' two doubles on the afternoon. The other two-bagger came courtesy of Thomas Dunleavy, who went 2-for-3 in the second game after entering as a defensive replacement. Brian Davila and Andrew Ruck each singled and drove in a run. Kevin Casey, Brad Hopek, Matt Lerner, Eric Anderson and James McCool also added base-hits for the Leopards.
John Gentile started the first game for Lafayette, allowing three earned runs on eight hits and two walks over the first 5.2 innings. Gentile (0-6) struck out a batter, hit a batter and uncorked a wild pitch.
The game-two loss went to starter Ethan Perro. Perro (1-3) ceded three earned runs on seven hits and a walk in 4.2 frames of work. The senior right-hander racked up five strikeouts and hit a batter.
Right-hander Chris Boyce worked in both ends of the twinbill, totaling 1.2 scoreless innings of work. Toby Schwartz hurled an inning in the nightcap and did not allowed an earned run. Ben Meer fired the final stanza of the afternoon.
Cory Kent worked a complete game for the Mountain Hawks in the seven-inning opener. He allowed five hits and walked a pair. Kent (1-2), the former Lehigh closer who ranks third in Patriot League history in career saves, piled up seven strikeouts.
Nick Stephens pitched the nightcap for Lehigh. Stephens (1-3) went 8+ innings, allowing two earned runs on eight hits and one walk. The hard-throwing right-hander struck out five batters.
Lafayette started the scoring in game one, striking in the top of the first inning. Anderson singled with one-out to set the table and moved to third on Casey's base-hit. Ruck made it three straight hits with an RBI single to right centerfield.
Lehigh threatened in second inning, loading the bases with no outs. But Hopek's diving stab of a line drive resulted in a double play, and Gentile then induced a routine groundball to short to quash the rally.
The 1-0 lead held into the fourth inning, when Chad Warga lifted a sacrifice fly to centerfield to push across the tying run. That deadlock would stand into the bottom of the sixth frame. A wild pitch allowed the go-ahead run to score and a single by Brandon McGaheran plated an insurance run.
Kent set the Leopards down in order in the top of the seventh inning to shut the door on the 3-1 win for Lehigh.
The Mountain Hawks struck first in the nightcap, plating two on RBI singles by Tyler Brong and Casey Turner in the first inning and another run via a Brandon Sady base-hit in the second.
Santomauro singled to lead off the fifth inning for Lafayette and took second on a sacrifice bunt by Kevin McCarville. Davila capitalized on the runner in scoring position with a single to right centerfield to cut the deficit to 3-1.
Lehigh would answer with a pair of unearned runs in its half of the fifth and then tacked on another pair of unearned tallies to extend the cushion to 7-1. The lead grew as large as 10-1 on a three-run homer by Joe Ablen in the bottom of the eighth.
The Leopards would not go quietly, as Dunleavy led off the ninth frame with a double. Lerner followed with a pinch-hit single to put runners on the corners, and Santomauro then skied a sacrifice fly - the only time he would be retired in the second game - to plate Lafayette's second run. The Lehigh lead proved insurmountable, however, as Thomas O'Malley got the final three outs to close a 10-2 decision.