Lehigh outlasts Army in both games of eight-hour road twin bill
in La Salle
04/21/2021 | 3 pm
WEST POINT, NY – In a pivotal double header that lasted more than eight hours, the Lehigh baseball team prevailed in both games at Doubleday Field on Sunday afternoon, beating Army West Point to split up the weekend streak . The Mountain Hawks (14-11, 11-6 PL) are the first team in the Patriot League to top the 10-win mark and are up 10-3 this season, another league record.
In a double marathon feature on Sunday after two disappointing efforts on Saturday at J. David Walker Field, the two teams combined 27 runs in 20 innings that day.
Sunday was a team effort for the Mountain Hawks on both wins, turning to unlikely names at unlikely moments to make big games and rise big when the team needed it most.
“I think the difference today was our pitching,” said head coach Sean Leary. “We had pitching so badly all season that some guys didn’t call their number. And today they did and promoted. Will Grisack was great in Game 1 and Game 2. [Tyler] Thompson and [Nick] The plasters were phenomenal. They came out and fought and Pave was especially special. It was the first time he was in such close moments at the end of the game, and he was amazing. “
Junior left Matt Stamford set the tone early in the afternoon’s first game by pitching consistently, scoring six innings and allowing two deserved runs with four hits and six strikeouts.
Joe Gorla started the scoring in the first inning for Lehigh with an RBI single on third base and scored Eric Cichocki 1-0.
The Army added runs in the fifth and sixth innings to give them a 2-1 lead.
In the seventh round, senior outfielder Quinn McKenna provided one of the decisive moments of the weekend. He hit a towering shot over the left field fence and scored Tyler Young to bring the Mountain Hawks 3-2 to the top. McKenna’s homer was his first of the season and the first since the 2019 season.
“Quinn was probably our best energy guy this season,” said Leary. “He was someone who played a great defense in the last two weeks and got down to the ground. But in the last 10 games he suddenly got some big hits and that was the biggest. That hit.” We thought it would have won the game at the moment, but it definitely gave us the shot to win. Our boys started to believe that if this ball went out of the park, we could win this thing. ”
HYPE US UP, @ quinnmckenna35 ???
The first home run for the senior since 2019 gives Lehigh the 3-2 lead in the seventh inning.
Lehigh aims to win the Army’s #PatriotBaseball 9-game winning streak.
Watch: https://t.co/kZvi1nR65b#GoLehigh | #RTTR | @NCAACWS pic.twitter.com/aGRCGNf0Nl
– Lehigh Baseball (@LehighBaseball) April 18, 2021 However, the lead wouldn’t last as the Black Knights tied the game to right field in the seventh inning of a Tim Simoe’s RBI single.
With his sixth relief appearance this season, second right-handed Will Grisack was honored on the day he was the best of his career so far. Working out of base-laden jams in the seventh and ninth innings, Grisack ended up with four full frames, giving up six hits and walking five but allowing only one deserved run that day.
“One of the reasons [we stuck with Will]was that we didn’t have a lot of depth in our bullpen today, “Leary said.” We tried to go with our most experienced man in this situation. He just wasn’t showing any emotion and had some really big moments today. There is something to be said for guys who want to be in the moment and he wanted to be out there as long as possible. That was the longest trip he had for us. It was very special, especially considering there were some really difficult moments. ”
End of 7 | HAVE YOU!
Will Grisack gets Jeremiah Adams to strike on a 3-2 place with two outs and loaded bases. Free baseball at West Point with a game of 3-3.
Watch: https://t.co/kMLwUYPfdl pic.twitter.com/7Vk8GfySi1
– Lehigh Baseball (@LehighBaseball) April 18, 2021 It was a Tyler Young single in the 11th inning with two outs that turned out to be the starting gun and then won the run when Sam Wurth closed the door at the bottom of the inning to Making money is his second save of the season.
T11 | LETS GOOOOOOO!
Tyler Young’s RBI single takes Rother from second to second while the Mountain Hawks take a 4-3 lead.
Lehigh 4, Army 3
Watch: https://t.co/kMLwUYPfdl pic.twitter.com/BgfuSsNKQC
– Lehigh Baseball (@LehighBaseball) April 18, 2021 The win earned the Mountain Hawks a four-game skid and the Black Knights a Patriot League winning streak of nine games.
The teams started Game 2 around 5 p.m. at sunset and gathered for nine more innings at West Point.
Newly minted right-hander Lucas Rich started for Lehigh and gave up a home run in the first inning when Army took a quick 1-0 advantage.
The Mountain Hawks began their goal chase in the second inning with three runs, two of which came on SAC flies and took a 3-1 lead. The Army took advantage of a nearly 35-minute bottom of the second inning, battling four runs in the bottom of the inning with two singles and an RBI groundout by a 5-3 lead.
In the upper third, Gerard Sweeney secured his second home run of the season from the white tent in midfield to bring the Mountain Hawks 5: 4 within one run. Casey Rother followed with a triple-to-right field that only missed the second straight homer, and newcomer Andrew Nole knocked into Rother to finish the game 5-5.
Sweeney is back!
Solo homer for Gerard Sweeney from midfield – makes it a 5-4 game!
Watch: https://t.co/ovsJQPzeT1 pic.twitter.com/Ye1VE0tfGS
– Lehigh Baseball (@LehighBaseball) April 18, 2021
Check out Moose Run! ?♂️?
Casey Rother has a triple and the Mountain Hawks are in business, nobody’s in third.
Watch: https://t.co/ovsJQPzeT1 pic.twitter.com/X85Dt7gbLF
– Lehigh Baseball (@LehighBaseball) April 18, 2021 Lehigh regained the lead in the fourth inning after Eric Cichocki returned to left field for the second time this season, giving the Mountain Hawks a 6-5 lead with two outs. In the fifth inning, two more runs with two outs were made after three runs that put a strain on the bases. Tyler Young ran and Adam Retzbach scored in a wild field to give the Mountain Hawks an 8-5 lead.
It is pronounced SUHHHHH-hocki and don’t forget it. ?
Eric Cichocki and the Mountain Hawks only have an absolute lead over the left field and take the lead 6-5.
Watch: https://t.co/ovsJQPzeT1 pic.twitter.com/w0j9q7VVPi
– Lehigh Baseball (@LehighBaseball) April 18, 2021 At the end of fifth place, the Black Knights responded with three more runs to finish the game 8-8 on the tie run.
Runs 9, 10, and 11 finished sixth after the Mountain Hawks reloaded the bases after two walks and a single one. The runs achieved unconventional results for the second frame in a row as Rother hit a pass, Joe Gorla hit a groundout, and Nole hit another pass to take an 11-8 lead.
“Tonight was our most complete offensive performance based only on the many opportunities we made,” said Leary. “We’ve had a few home runs, we’ve had guys who got hit, some went first to third, some guys read the balls passed to score. We did a lot of little things well and at a time when we’ve played six league games in the past five days we’ve been a little thin so we knew we’d probably have to get some runs tonight, each of which was important, I thought the runs we tackled in the middle innings were one Reference to the fight we had today. “”
Despite a rough fifth inning where Army scored three times and scored two hits in the inning, junior right-hander Nick Pave has settled in and delivered one of the best performances of the season in the last three innings. Eliminated in the seventh inning, Pave held the army for just one run in the eighth run and made the Black Knights lose 3-1-1 in the ninth to record his first career decision – a win – to get the win also in the second game 11-9.
Lehigh wins a wild one and gets the Sunday sweep at Doubleday Field! First career decision – a successful one – for Junior RHP Nick Pave. # GoLehigh | #RTTR pic.twitter.com/nt2LsSA8ih
– Lehigh Baseball (@LehighBaseball) April 19, 2021 Seven of Lehigh’s nine starters scored at least one base goal that evening, but all nine made it to the base at least once.
Pave went five innings, allowing a well-deserved run with four hits, five strokes and just a walk of 90 fields. Before that, freshman Tyler Thompson threw three goalless innings and gave up three hits with four strikeouts.
In particular, Junior Casey Rother and the reigning Patriot League Player of the Week increased his basic streak to 20 games in a row after recording two walks in the first game and a triple in the second.
The Mountain Hawks bring the momentum into the coming week with a break in the non-league game on Wednesday and face La Salle in Philadelphia at 3pm. A weekend series with Bucknell follows with two games on Saturday at J. David Walker Field. April 24th at noon and a single game on the street the next day.
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