Lehigh wins a shutout before falling 8-7 to Bucknell in the series finale

BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh baseball program (19-22, 6-12 Patriot League) earned a 10-4 victory late in a shutout game Saturday afternoon before Bucknell (18-21, 11-11 Patriot League) came from behind to 8-7 victory in the series finale from J. David Walker Field at Legacy Park on Sunday.

Game 2 – W, ​​10-4

Bucknell got on the board first with a three-run second inning. Kyle Lyons reached on a fielder’s choice to shortstop, scoring Tyler Dunn to give the Bison a 1-0 lead. Bucknell made it 3-0 when Anthony Sherwin singled to center field to score a couple more runs.

Lehigh took the lead in the fourth frame when the Mountain Hawks hit three home runs in the inning. Sophomore Rafe Perich hit his third home run of the weekend when he crushed a two-run home run to right-center field to cut the deficit to one, 3-2. Junior Andrew Nole hit a bomb to right-center to tie the game at 3-3 and the sophomore home run Justin Butler homered to right-center to give the Maroons a 5-3 lead through four innings.

At the bottom of the fifth frame, fifth year Casey Rother was credited with an RBI when he hit a sacrifice fly to right field that scored the sophomore Jake Wittlinger and doubled up the Bison 6-3.

In the top of the seventh, the game was tied with one out and a Bison runner on second base. The game picked up from there this morning, which saw Nick Adamo score Jacob Corson on a single to center field to put Bucknell within two runs, 6-4.

Lehigh would score four more runs to end the game, with Whitlinger hitting an RBI single, Rother single up the middle to score two runs to extend the Mountain Hawks lead to 9-4 after the seventh inning. The Brown and White tacked on another run on a fielder’s choice in the eighth to close out the win, defeating the Bison 10-4.

Whitlinger went 4-for-5 in the game with two runs scored and an RBI, while Butler was 2-for-4 with a double and a home run for two RBIs and two runs scored. Seven other Mountainhawks recorded hits to total 13 hits, with Rother driving in three runs while Perich and Nole each had game-winning home runs.

Billy Kender was the lone Bison to earn a multi-hit performance with two hits and a run scored, while three other Bucknell players reached base safely with hits. Sherwin and Shawn Keyes each drew three walks, with Sherwin scoring two runs and Lyons and Corson each bringing in one RBI.

Sophomore Alex Bouchard (W, 3-1) got the start on the mound and threw 5.1 innings with three runs on four hits with four walks and one strikeout. Classmate Val Thaddeus threw one inning of work without allowing a hit and had one unearned run when the game was stopped due to weather. Senior Ben Christian (S, 1) was on his way to starting the game on Sunday, throwing 2.2 innings with just one hit and no runs allowed with three walks and two strikeouts.

Will Greer (L, 3-5) started the game Saturday for Bucknell and pitched six innings of work allowing six runs, five of them earned, on six hits with two K’s and a couple of walks before Hadley Maxwell was the pitcher when the game was resumed on Sunday. Maxwell threw two innings with four earned runs on seven hits with a pair of strikeouts and one walk.

Game 3 – L, 8-7
After a scoreless start to the first, Lehigh scored three runs in the home half of the frame. Rother doubled to left field to score two runs and Perich put the ball in play, grounding to second base that scored the sophomore Tyler Young to give the Mountain Hawks an early 3-0 advantage.

Bucknell countered with a couple of runs in the top of the fourth frame on Grant Wojtowicz’s double to right field to score Sherwin, followed by an RBI by Corson on a fielder’s choice that scored Wojtowicz to cut Lehigh’s lead to 3-2 . At the end of the fourth, fifth year Gerard Sweeney crushed a solo home run to right field to put the Brown and White back up by two runs, 4-2.

Wojtowicz then singled down the left field line to bring the Bison back within one run in the fifth, 4-3, but Lehigh scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth. First year Dom Patrizi single home run and then Butler raced home on a passed ball to double up the Bison, 6-3. Young reached third base on an error that allowed Patrizzi to cross the plate for the Mountain Hawks’ final run of the game as Lehigh led 7-3 through six innings.

Bucknell scored a couple of runs in the top of the seventh to cut the deficit to just two runs at 7-5. Stepping to the plate for his final at-bats, Corson connected with a three-run home run to right field to give the Bison an 8-7 lead, allowing Lehigh to take its final cuts at the plate.

Lehigh had runners on second and third with two outs and Butler at the plate. Butler lofted the ball into the air on the right side of the field as second baseman Billy Kender dove into the outfield grass to secure the 8-7 victory for Bucknell.

Gorla and Butler both had multi-hit games, with Gorla going 2-for-5 with an RBI and Butler scoring once. Five other Mountain Hawks had base hits in the game, with Rother, Perich, Sweeney and Patrizi each driving in a run in the game.

Sherwin had three hits in the three-run game for Bucknell, while Voytovich had a triple and a double for her two hits in the game. Corson’s only hit was a three-run home run and he finished with four RBI.

Junior Teddy Tolliver pitched 5.1 innings of work with three earned runs on six hits with two strikeouts prior to the year Cole Leeman was called from the bullpen. Leaman threw two innings with two earned runs on two hits, a couple of walks and a strikeout. Rother (L, 0-3) moved from right field to the mound and threw 1.2 innings with two hits and three runs with three Ks and a walk.

Tyler O’Neal got the nod in the series finale and threw 5.2 innings with seven runs, five earned, on eight hits with a couple of strikeouts and a pair of walks. Theo Farinic faced three batters and recorded one out with one strikeout and a walk before Nick Mulvey (W, 2-0) replaced him and threw two scoreless frames without allowing a hit with two K’s and two walks. Ryan Osinski (S, 6) closed things out for the Bison with a walk and a hit, giving Bucknell the win.

The Mountain Hawks will then hit the road for the final time this season, taking on Towson on Tuesday, April 25 at 3 p.m. The game will be broadcast on FloSports.

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