Lafayette, Lehigh Resume Rivalry in Bethlehem
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EASTON, Pa. – With only two Patriot League series remaining on the schedule, Lafayette looks to solidify its spot in the postseason with this weekend’s trip to local rival Lehigh.
The Leopards are 6-6 through their first 12 league games. They currently hold the fourth and final playoff spot, one game ahead of Army West Point (with Lafayette holding the tiebreaker) and one game behind Holy Cross and Bucknell for second place.
The Mountain Hawks come in with a 14-26 record overall, and they are last in the Patriot League with a 3-9 mark. Lehigh has lost each of its first three conference series by a three games to one margin, most recently dropping 3-of-4 at league-leading Navy last weekend.
Doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday will begin at 12 p.m. at Legacy Park in Bethlehem.
LAFAYETTE AT A GLANCE
- The Leopards have won three of their last four games after outlasting Monmouth by a 13-12 final at Kamine Stadium on Wednesday afternoon. They will be playing on the road for the first time since April 3, with the past 11 contests having taken place in Easton.
- Lafayette improved to 7-8 in April with yesterday’s win. Michael Coniglio and Campbell Lipe have swung hot bats all month, and they continued that trend yesterday with three hits apiece. Coniglio is batting .379 with 12 stolen bases since the month began on April 2 with a Patriot League-opening twin bill at Army West Point, while Lipe is hitting .366 with three home runs and 13 RBIs.
- John Selsor is batting .500 (7-for-14) with two homers and three doubles during a season-high five-game hitting streak.
- The Leopards opened the scoring with three runs in the bottom of the first against Monmouth. They are now 11-7 when scoring first this season compared to a 2-15 mark when their opponent puts the first run on the scoreboard.
- Lafayette is expected to stick with last weekend’s four starters on the mound. RHP David Bednar and RHP Mitch Leeds are projected to start on Saturday, with LHP John Cain and RHP Trevor Houck to follow on Sunday.
- The Mountain Hawks enter having lost four in a row after being swept in a doubleheader at Maryland Eastern Shore on Wednesday.
- Senior 2B Mike Garzillo entered the spring as the Patriot League Preseason Player of the Year, and he leads Lehigh with a .336 average, a .443 OBP, five home runs and 13 doubles. Junior 3B Patrick Donnelly, meanwhile, tops the conference with 36 RBIs. He is hitting .300 with three homers and 10 doubles.
- Control has been a big issue for Lehigh’s pitchers during the conference season, with the team combining for a league-high 60 free passes allowed through the first three weekend series. No other team has given up more than 35 walks, and Lafayette has allowed the fewest with 31.
- Senior RHP Kevin Long (1-4, 6.32 ERA) and sophomore LHP Peter Moore (3-3, 4.76 ERA) are Lehigh’s projected starters for Saturday. Sunday’s starters remain TBD.
- Lafayette leads 230-148-3 in a series which began with a 45-45 tie and a 31-24 Leopard victory back in 1869.
- In more recent and lower-scoring times, Lehigh has won 3-of-4 games in each of the past two seasons, including last year in Easton. Lafayette won Game 3 of that series 3-0, and dropped the other three contests by a combined five runs.
- The Leopards are looking for their first series victory since taking 3-of-4 in Easton in 2009.
AROUND THE PATRIOT LEAGUE
- Holy Cross (18-22, 7-5 PL) travels to Bucknell (16-24, 7-5 PL) this weekend, with each team looking to catch Navy in the standings. The Mids (29-11-1, 8-4 PL) resume their rivalry with Army West Point (14-24, 5-7 PL) in Annapolis, Md.
- Lafayette travels to Rider for a 3:30 p.m. non-conference matchup on Wednesday, April 27, before heading to Worcester, Mass., to face Holy Cross in the final Patriot League series of the regular season next weekend.