HAWKS LOSE A PAIR OF CLOSE GAMES TO LEHIGH
April 11, 2012
PRINCESS ANNE, Md. - UMES had a tough day on the diamond, falling in two close games to Lehigh on Wednesday. The Hawks fell 7-6 in game one, after coming back from down four, and the second game 5-3 after being up by three after five innings. UMES falls to 8-25 after the non-conference games while Lehigh goes to 13-23-1.
Lehigh got off to a fast start in the top of the first in game one, using three straight RBI plate appearances, including a Brandon Sady sacrifice fly, for an early 3-0 lead.
The Hawks got a run back in the bottom of the first. Byron Campbell (Waldorf, Md.) got a one-out triple into the right-center gap off Lehigh starter Colin Gotzon. James Newsome (Mechanicsville, Md.) hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Campbell and put the score at 3-1 Lehigh.
The Mountain Hawks tacked two more on in the next half-inning, including a Joe Abeln RBI triple and Joe Conaway RBI double, for a 5-1 lead.
As UMES tried to come back, starter Alex Welch (Baltimore, Md.) locked down Lehigh in the next three innings, not allowing a hit in that time. During that span, a Joshua James (Milford, Del.) RBI single in the fourth to score Jeffrey Fleetwood (Delmar, Del.) to pull UMES within three.
Lehigh got a run back in the top of the sixth with an Abeln RBI ground out to first, giving the visitors a four-run lead.
Facing Steven Ball in the sixth, UMES rallied to tie the game. Brandon Schott (Warren, Pa.) and Tre-Von Johnson (East New Market, Md.) hit back-to-back singles to lead off the inning. After a pair of strikeouts, James walked to load the bases. Shaquille Bagwell (Atlantic, Va.) hit a ground ball single through the right side, bringing in two runs. Stephen Bull (Millsboro, Del.) followed up with a single to right off Thomas O'Malley (1-0) to score James to pull within one. O'Malley tried to pick off Bull but committed a throwing error, allowing Bagwell to score from third. UMES scored four runs in the inning to tie the game at 6-6.
Despite a strong effort by Michael Epps (Pottstown, Pa.) (0-2) in relief of Welch, Lehigh pieced two hits together in the top of the eighth with a Abeln single and subsequent RBI double by Conaway, to give the Mountain Hawks a 7-6 lead.
Neither starter earned a decision in the first game. Welch allowed six runs, five of them earned, with four strikeouts in five innings for UMES, while Gotzon also went five with two runs given up. O'Malley got the win with 2.1 scoreless innings, while Cory Kent got his fourth save of the year. Epps got the loss despite allowing just one run in three-and-a-third.
UMES tried to come back again in the bottom of the ninth, loading the bases with nobody out, but the Hawks fell just short and lost 7-6.
The Hawks came out strong in game two in the first inning against Lehigh starter Rene Tato. With Newsome on first and two out, Johnson, in his first at bat of the year from the cleanup spot, doubled down the left field line to bring in a run. Malik Wylie (Bronx, N.Y.) followed with an infield single, going to second on a subsequent throwing error by the third baseman and allowing Johnson to score. Fleetwood brought home Wylie on a line drive double to left, giving UMES a 3-0 lead.
Bernard Parker (Waldorf, Md.) picked up where he left off in his last start, pitching the first four innings with allowing a run. In his two starts combined, Parker has held his opponents scoreless through nine innings. Zachary Saca (Elk Grove, Calif.) followed up with a scoreless fifth inning as the Hawks led 3-0 after five.
Unfortunately for UMES, Lehigh rallied for four runs in the top of the sixth against Hawks relievers James Smith (Florence, S.C.) and Karim Gonzalez (Mexico City, Mexico) (1-3), including RBI hits by Kent, Brandon McGaheran and Ryan Gajdos, to take a 4-3 lead.
The visitors tacked on an insurance run in the top of the seven, an unearned one via an RBI double by John Elson, for a 5-3 Lehigh lead.
UMES got the potential tying and winning runs on the basepaths in the bottom half of the seventh, but once again was just short and was defeated 5-3.
Tato was pulled after the first inning, not getting a decision after allowing three runs. The win went to Joey McNamara (2-0), who pitched a fifth inning of scoreless relief, while Sady got his first save of the season by pitching the final two innings without a run allowed.
Gonzalez got the loss in 1.1 innings of relief, allowing two runs, only one earned, and striking out one.
Fleetwood increased his hitting streak to 10 games, the longest for UMES this season, combining to go 3-for-8 with a run and an RBI. Bagwell also hit safely in each game for a day of three hits in seven at bats with two RBI. Bull and Campbell had three hits each in game one, with the ladder now having reached base in each of the last 26 games.
Abeln led Lehigh with five hits in nine at bats, scoring four times and bringing in two more. Conaway went 2-for-4 in game one with a pair of RBI, while Elson was a perfect 3-for-3, getting a run, RBI and a walk.
UMES resumes MEAC play as it hosts Norfolk State on Saturday for a doubleheader beginning at noon.