Lehigh baseball sweeps defending Patriot League champs Bucknell in Easter doubleheader


During Easter weekend, the baseball team had a lot more to celebrate than just the holidays after triumphing against last year’s Patriot League champions.

Lehigh swept Bucknell University in a doubleheader Sunday, winning both extra inning games in walk-off fashion.

This came after splitting Saturday’s doubleheader with Bucknell. The series propels the Hawks to 4-4 in conference and 8-18 overall.

The first of the two games on Sunday started as a pitching battle and was scoreless through the first two innings. Senior pitcher Nick Stephens had a strong performance for Lehigh, only allowing two runs. Both came from batters that he had walked in the third inning. Stephens struck out seven Bucknell batters and only allowed four hits.

Junior second baseman Mike Garzillo led the way in the first game with two hits, two runs and one RBI. Garzillo also scored the winning run for Lehigh in the bottom of the eighth inning when senior catcher Tim McKay was walked with the bases loaded to secure Lehigh’s victory in the first of the two games.

The second of the two games was a struggle for the Hawks at the beginning. Bucknell put up five runs in the first inning, giving Lehigh a large deficit to overcome. Lehigh answered quickly in the bottom half of the inning, putting up two runs of their own. The first run came off of Garzillo when he roped a ball deep into the outfield, scoring sophomore right fielder Jacen Nalesnik from second. Garzillo would score as well, cutting Bucknell’s lead to only three.

Bucknell pushed the lead to 6-2 in the third. However, Lehigh answered in the sixth when sophomore second baseman Patrick Donnelly put a ball over the right field fence, also bringing in Garzillo.

Neither team scored again until Lehigh’s senior outfielder/infielder Patrick Walshe also hit a home run over the right field fence, making it a 6-5 game.

With the Hawks down by one in the ninth inning, senior center fielder Justin Pacchioli completed the dramatic Lehigh comeback when he ripped a ball up the middle, scoring the pinch runner, freshman infielder Chris Kersey, and senior catcher Tim McKay. This meant two walk off wins in two days and a 7-6 victory for the Hawks as they beat Bucknell 3-1 in the series.

The next game will be on Tuesday against St. Peter’s University in Jersey City, New Jersey.

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