Mountain Hawks struggle, drop both ends of doubleheader vs. Army West Point
at Army West Point
04/18/2021 | 13 o’clock
BETHLEHEM, PA. – The Lehigh baseball team, defeated by heavy fielding and pitching Saturday afternoon, dropped both ends of a home double header against North Division leader Army West Point at J. David Walker Field. With the two defeats of the Mountain Hawks (12-11, 9-6 PL) against the Black Knights (14-12, 8-3 PL), the team’s losing streak extends to four games in a row.
The first game was about the army figuring out how to solve dominant right-handed Mason Black on Saturday, which they could do throughout his outing. Black only went four innings and gave up five earned runs with five hits with five walks and three strikeouts and was burdened with defeat for the second time this season.
Army West Point took a 3-0 lead in the third inning and never looked back despite a Gerard Sweeney brace in the third round that put the Mountain Hawks 3-2 in one run.
The Black Knights parted in two more runs in the fifth inning and took a 5-2 lead.
At the end of fifth place, Lehigh had a chance to get into a run after outfielder Eric Cichocki scored in the middle and hit Chase Carlson, but Riley Davis was kicked out at home by the midfielder trying to score .
In the sixth round Adam Retzbach prevailed against the second baseman, but brought Joe Gorla home from third to 5: 4 deficit.
Cichocki hit right field with two outs in game seven, but Sweeney swung out to end the ball game when Army captured the 5-4 win in Game 1.
It was the team-strong 10th multi-hit game of the season for Cichocki, who recorded his eighth two-hit game against the Black Knights.
In the second game, Army West Point struck first and held on from the start. A double left midfield from Sam Ruta brought the Black Knights 1-0 to the top.
Junior Casey Rother shot his fourth home run of the season from the left scoreboard at the bottom of the first to respond and finish the game 1-1.
There are home runs …
And then in game 2 there are home runs like this one by Casey Rother. 🚀 👀 # GoLehigh | #RTTR pic.twitter.com/4ALMLPzQdl
– Lehigh Baseball (@LehighBaseball) April 17, 2021 The Black Knights reached Lehigh’s right-handed Matt Svanson in the middle of the inning, taking a 3-1 lead at the end of the second and eventually 5-1 after a Ruta homer in the fifth.
The Mountain Hawks had a run-back to an RBI groundout for Gerard Sweeney, but Army had the last laugh at a homer from Anthony Giachin on the right who finished off a 6-2 win.
Svanson was charged with his third loss that season after six innings, which allowed four deserved runs with eight hits with three strikeouts and three batsmen. Ben Christian stepped forward and threw himself up in relief, made three full frames, allowed a well-deserved run with four hits and knocked out two batters.
After Rother had been hit in the first game and returned home in the second, he extended his basic streak to 18 games in a row, a season high for the team.
The Mountain Hawks will attempt to regroup and snap the four-game skid with a double header at Doubleday Field in West Point. The first pitch of the first game is set at 1 p.m.
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