Lehigh baseball defeats Navy, advances to Patriot League Championship-The Brown and White
Lehigh Baseball defeated Navy 5-0 in the final game of a three-game series on May 16 to advance to the Patriot League Championship.
The Mountain Hawks will face Army in the Patriot League Championship in a best-of-three series of games on May 25th and 26th.
Junior pitcher Luke Retting threw seven innings, gave up no runs on three hits and hit eight batters.
Lehigh completed his third shutout of the season and the second shutout against the Navy.
Patriot League Player of the Year Casey Rother led the Mountain Hawks offensive with a triple home run in the third inning, three of Lehigh’s five third innings runs.
“Our MVP had a tough day yesterday and we mentioned it in the pregame talk,” said head coach Sean Leary. “I said we were here five years ago when my MVP went 0-8 and then he got a threesome made homerun to win the game. I don’t know if that’s prophetic, but Mike (Garzillo) did it. “
Junior first baseman Gerard Sweeney picked up where he left off yesterday with a double from the first inning on the right wall of midfield. Lehigh was unable to capitalize when Junior Casey Rother hit a screaming line drive to the left wall of the field, but Navy caught him and caught Sweeney stepping up from second base.
The top six Lehigh thugs in that order all scored one hit in the game.
In the second inning, Junior Joe Gorla hit a leadoff single, and Senior Quinn McKenna left to create another opportunity for the Mountain Hawks. Freshman Tyler Young failed to beat the runners in the scoring position and tried to end the inning.
Rettig went with two men in the third inning but escaped trouble when third baseman Joe Gorla spun a double play that ended the inning, stepped on third base and threw to first base.
Eric Cichocki hit a one-out double to start the third inning offensive. After Sweeney left, Rother hit a towering three-run home run across left field to give Lehigh the first 3-0 lead of the game.
Lehigh’s offense didn’t stop in the third inning. Freshman Andrew Nole met second catcher Adam Retzbach with a double-out and extended Lehigh’s lead to 4-0.
Army pitchers battled position in their places throughout the game, walking four thugs, including three walks in the third inning.
“It got easier when the game was almost on,” said Rettig. “You pushed.”
In the fifth inning, Lehigh ran into trouble. Two hits and a walk for the midshipmen had loaded bases with no outs. Lehigh initiated a double play when Joe Simourian jumped to the pitcher, threw Rettig home, and threw Retzbach first to complete the double play. Rettig then knocked out Eduardo Diaz to end the inning.
“[Luke] is an emotional kid and he rides those emotions, ”Leary said. “This at-bat got the game going. We had a lot more options up until then and just couldn’t hit the ball hard or push anything over. I think every team has a moment when it has to work its way out, and that’s what they did. “
Rettig pitched seven innings and never gave up runs on three hits by knocking out eight batter and throwing 117 pits.
Sophomore Will Grisack got the last six outs of the shutout and withdrew all six thugs he faced.
“That was an emotional series in the middle of the finale,” said Leary. “We were exhausted. We risked everything. “