The Lehigh baseball team suffered a tough 14-6 loss to La Salle University on Tuesday afternoon.
The Mountain Hawks started strong, holding off the Explorers to zero in the top of the first. Then, a home run from senior Jeff Shanfeldt, who has been hitting .400 in his last 11 games and has 16 hits, six doubles, two home runs and 15 RBIs in the same span.
Shanfeldt’s home run drove in freshman, Gerard Sweeney, for a 2-0 lead going into the second inning.
The second inning was scoreless, but La Salle bounced back in the third with three stolen bases from two different players and a stolen run on a botched pitch. Starting pitcher, Mason Black, escaped the inning giving up only two runs and forcing the Explorers to leave loaded bases on the diamond.
Lehigh fired back in the bottom of the third with a double from Shanfeldt followed immediately by a home run by senior Ryan Malloy, who is the current team leader in batting average, runs and home runs. Three successive outs after the Malloy bomb brought the inning to a close with Lehigh up 4-2.
La Salle took over in the fourth inning.
The takeover started with a home run from freshman, Tatem Levins, the first of three home runs. Coach Sean Leary put in sophomore pitcher Peter Woltersdorf, to replace Black. Woltersdorf couldn’t stop Levins giving up three more hits and three more points before closing out the at bat with La Salle leading 6-4.
Lehigh wasn’t able to get anything going in the bottom of the fourth due after a double play from La Salle.
In the fifth, La Salle’s Levins hit his second home run, driving in a runner and putting the Explorers up by four. Lehigh had a less successful at bat putting three up to get knocked down in quick succession.
Before the sixth, Leary switched pitchers again, now on the mound, sophomore Yash Rane.
Rane looks promising in his first, go giving up only a single before getting three outs. He struggled in the seventh though, giving up three hits and a walk for three runs, putting La Salle up 11-4 going into the bottom of the seventh.
The Mountain Hawks showed signs of life again in the seventh, putting two runs on the board in two hits.
In the eighth, Levins hit his third and final home run, making the score 13-6.
Lehigh wasn’t able to get anything going after the two runs in the seventh and, after putting a final nail in the game to make it 14-6 in the ninth, the Explorers walked out of Legacy park with a win.
The Lehigh baseball team is playing at Saint Joseph’s on Wednesday, April 3, and then going to West Point to take on the Black Knights in a three-game Patriot League Series.