Lehigh baseball looks to have a comeback 2023 campaign to improve upon last season.
The Mountain Hawks enter the 2023 season in pursuit of their first Patriot League title since 2015. Last season, the team finished with an overall record of 26-24 and 12-13 in the conference, finishing third behind West Point and Bucknell. In the first round of the Patriot League Championship, Lehigh lost in two games to Bucknell.
Lehigh will play 25 games in the Patriot League this season, starting with their first conference game on March 25 at Navy in Annapolis, Maryland.
Despite losing catcher Adam Retzbach and pitcher Carlos Torres to the MLB draft, the team looks to contend in the 2023 season.
Sophomore outfielder Greg Becil said the team worked hard to set the bar high for themselves this year.
“I have really high hopes for this team,” Becil said. “There’s a new competitive nature in the group that’s going to be a big difference-maker for us when it comes to winning big games and series.”
The team welcomed 14 new faces to the lineup this season — 13 first-year students and one transfer student. These additions mark one of Lehigh’s largest incoming classes and bolster the roster to have 40 total athletes.
Among the 13 first-years is infielder Dom Patrizi from Marlton, New Jersey, who enters the program after driving in 20 runs during his senior year of high school. He said he has high hopes for his rookie season.
“My expectation is definitely to win the Patriot League Championship,” Patrizi said.
The Mountain Hawks strengthened their bullpen by bringing in sophomore transfer Alex Bouchard from Dickinson College. In his 10 appearances in 2022, Bouchard posted a 3.42 ERA across 23.2 innings pitched and secured four wins.
The team will welcome back two-time All-Patriot League fifth year pitcher Luke Rettig. Rettig finished the 2022 season with a career-best 2.40 ERA across 71.1 innings pitched, while also notching eight wins in 13 starts.
When asked about his goals for the upcoming season, Rettig said his primary focus is clear.
“(My goal is) finally winning a ring in my fifth year here,” Rettig said. “I’m ready to win one.”
Rettig said the offseason provided a bonding experience for the team and their chemistry only gets better each day. He said the older players have provided guidance for their younger teammates.
Patrizi echoed a similar sentiment about team relationships.
“As a team, I feel like everyone just gelled better, and we all became really good friends,” Patrizi said. “As a player, I feel like everyone’s just been working hard and doing what they are supposed to do.”
Becil said, after a long, arduous off-season, the team is ready to return to the diamond and he looks forward to facing whatever challenges they may encounter.
In addition to working on his skills and athleticism, Becil said he’s placed a lot of importance on honing his mental game in preparation for his second year.
Overall, he said he is ready to be competitive with the team.
“Our team plays with a lot of heart and grit, and it’s awesome to watch,” Becil said.
The Mountain Hawks will open their season on Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. against Bethune-Cookman University in a three-game series in Daytona Beach, Florida.