Baseball Sweeps Doubleheader at Lehigh
April 1, 2012
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - The Lafayette baseball team rebounded from yesterday's twinbill with a doubleheader sweep at Lehigh on Sunday afternoon. Thomas Dunleavy had four hits to lead the Leopards to a 7-6 win in game one, and Connor Ortolf fired a complete game to take the nightcap, 8-1.
With the sweep, the Leopards improve to 8-17-1 overall and 2-2 in the Patriot League. The Mountain Hawks now stand at 8-19-1 on the season with a 2-2 league tally.
Andrew Santomauro and Dunleavy each had five hits in the twin bill. Dunleavy went 4-for-4 with two RBI in the opening game, while Santomauro drove in five runs in the double-dip. Bobby Fargnoli added three hits and four Leopards - Kevin Casey, Brian Davila, Kevin McCarville and Parker Hills - each had two. Scott Kelleher and Brad Hopek had one hit apiece.
Casey drove in three runs on the day, including a solo home run in the nightcap. Hopek roped a two-run double to open the scoring in game one, and Fargnoli, Davila, McCool and Hills all had one RBI apiece.
Before Dunleavy's opening-game outburst, the last 4-for-4 game for a Leopard came courtesy of A.J. Miller '11 in game two of a doubleheader at UMBC on March 5, 2011.
Ortolf's complete game victory marked the first time that a Lafayette hurler went the distance in a nine-inning contest since Corey Shea '11 blanked Lehigh, 2-0, on April 12, 2009. Ortolf (1-0) ceded just five singles and walked one batter while allowing just one earned run. The sophomore southpaw racked up three strikeouts.
Jeff Snell got the win the game one in 2.1 innings of relief. Snell (1-1) did not allow an earned run while scattering three singles and a walk. Sean McGrath retired the final three batters of the contest to earn his second save.
Derek Gussaroff started game one and left with a lead but fell one out shy of pitching the requisite four innings needed to earn a win in a seven-inning contest. Gussaroff allowed two hits and walked six batters en route to two earned runs surrendered in his 3.2 frames of action. He struck out four batters.
The Leopards started the scoring with two runs in the top of the first inning. Dunleavy legged out an infield hit to reach with one out and took second on a wild pitch. After Casey worked a walk, another wild pitch moved both baserunners into scoring position. Hopek delivered on the RBI opportunity with a two-out, two-run double to left centerfield to put Lafayette on top, 2-0.
After Gussaroff fired a hitless bottom of the first frame, the Leopards tacked on three more runs in their next trip to the plate. Fargnoli reached and took second on a throwing error to lead off the inning and moved to third base on a Davila groundout. Santomauro followed with a two-out single to drive the unearned run home. Dunleavy then smacked a double on a hit-and-run that brought Santomauro all the way around to score, and Casey capped the two-out rally with an RBI single to left field. In total, the three unearned tallies extended the Lafayette advantage to 5-0.
Lehigh climbed nearer with two runs in the bottom of the stanza - one of which was unearned -and another unearned run in the third inning, before Lafayette struck again in the top of the fourth frame. Hills led off with a single, and Davila hustled a sacrifice bunt attempt into a hit to put two men on with none down. Dunleavy knocked one runner home with a base-hit, and Casey pushed a second tally across with a groundout to put the Leopards on top, 7-3.
An unusual bottom of the fourth inning brought the Mountain Hawks back to within in a run, as the home team plated three runs without the benefit on a base-hit. Four walks by Gussaroff plated one run and ended the day for the Leopards' starter. Snell walked the first batter he faced to push home another run, and a third tally came across on a passed ball before the senior right-hander got the inning-ending strikeout.
The score held at 7-6 in favor of Lafayette, as Snell posted zeroes in the fifth and sixth frames, and the Leopards added an insurance run in the top of the seventh and final inning. Fargnoli roped a two-out double to straight-away centerfield, and Hills followed with his second hit of the game to extend the margin to 8-6.
A pair of infield hits started the bottom of the seventh for Lehigh, and the bases were loaded on a contested call at third base on a sacrifice bunt attempt. With the potential tying run in scoring position and the winning run aboard at first, McGrath came out of the pen. The flame-throwing southpaw induced a strikeout to start the inning, and strong throw by Dunleavy turned a possible sacrifice fly into the harmless second out of the frame. Another fly-ball to right field ended the threat and closed the door on an 8-6 victory.
Jordan Smith started and took the loss for Lehigh. Smith (2-2) lasted just two innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits and one walk.
Lafayette got on the board first in game two as well. Fargnoli hit a one-out single to set the table and moved to second when Kevin McCarville was hit by a pitch. Davila followed with a single down the left field line to plate the game's first run. The next batter was Santomauro, who slapped a two-run base-hit down the line to give the Leopards an early three-run advantage.
Lehigh notched its lone run in the bottom of the frame on an RBI infield hit by Cory Kent, but Ortolf would surrender just three singles as only one Mountain Hawk reached second base for the remainder of the game.
With Ortolf cruising, Lafayette added four insurance runs in the top of the eighth inning. Casey walked to lead off the inning, and Hopek moved him over with a sacrifice bunt. Kelleher followed with a single to put runners on the corners, and McCool finished the job with an RBI groundout. The next three tallies came with two outs. Fargnoli hit an RBI single to keep the rally going and, after a McCarville single and a Davila walk, Santomauro picked up his second two-run single of the game to run the score to 7-1. Casey would lead off the ninth inning with a solo homer to left centerfield to round out the 8-1 final score.
Nick Cassell took the loss for the Mountain Hawks to fall to 1-5. The Lehigh starter allowed three earned runs on six hits and one walk in seven innings.
The Leopards will play midweek games at Villanova and Monmouth on Tuesday and Wednesday before resuming Patriot League action next weekend at Holy Cross.