First year catcher Andrew Noone prepares for a pitch against Navy. Lehigh fell in a doubleheader to Navy Saturday, April 6. (Jamie Young/B&W Staff)

Lehigh baseball falls to Navy twice in doubleheader


The Lehigh baseball team fell to Navy in both games of a doubleheader at J. David Walker Field in Bethlehem on Saturday, April 6. 

Navy (19-11, 10-3) won the first game 2-1 in 10 innings and the second game 6-3 in seven innings to improve their hold on the top of the Patriot League standings. 

The doubleheader featured the Patriot League’s top offense against the conference’s best pitching staff. Entering Saturday’s games, Lehigh led the Patriot League with its 4.87 team ERA, while Navy led the conference in runs per game and batting average. 

Lehigh coach Sean Leary commended the team’s pitching staff, but said he wants to see more from their offense. 

Lehigh amassed only four runs and nine hits between both games.

I think sometimes when you’re struggling to score, your pitchers try to be too perfect,” Leary said. “I think that’s happening. We’ve got a good team. We’re just not playing at the level we need to be playing at right now.”

The Mountain Hawks have lost four straight games after Saturday’s doubleheader. With another Patriot League doubleheader on Sunday, Leary wants the team to relax and trust themselves. 

 “I think at this point we’re a little tight,” Leary said. “It’s a natural emotion. Your natural reaction as a hitter is to almost try harder. And that’s not how you get out of a slump”. 

Game 1: Navy 2, Lehigh 1

Game one was a pitcher’s duel from start to finish.

After both teams scored in the first inning, it was not until Navy sophomore first-baseman Victor Izquierdo drove in sophomore second-baseman Brock Murtha to put the Midshipmen in front 2-1. 

Izquierdo’s go-ahead single was against junior Marcus Danchision, although the run was unearned because Murtha started the inning on second base as the automatic runner in extra innings. 

Navy rode strong performances by sophomore starter Tyler Grenn, allowing one run in eight innings, and senior Nolan Jorgensen, who recorded his first win of the season. 

Lehigh’s pitching matched Grenn’s stellar effort. Both Danchision and starting pitcher Cole Leaman completed five innings in the 2-1 loss. 

I thought they were terrific.” Leary said. “They attacked the zone. They did everything we could ask for them today and gave us a chance to win. We just offensively didn’t put a great effort together in game one.”

Game 2: Navy 6, Lehigh 3 

Lehigh senior Teddy Tolliver took the mound in Game 2. With clouds overhead and strong wind gusts, the pitching conditions were far from ideal. 

(The wind) becomes a factor sometimes just trying to get a grip on the ball.” Tolliver said. “The dry hands can be a struggle, but shouldn’t be an excuse.”

Tolliver, who was the winning pitcher in Lehigh’s early season win against No. 20. Iowa, lasted 3.1 innings and allowed four earned runs against Navy for his first loss of the season. 

Navy jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Just like they did in game one, Lehigh responded in part. 

After consecutive two-out walks issued by Navy senior Matthew Shirah, Lehigh senior Tyler Young notched an RBI single to even the score at one. 

In the bottom of the second inning with base runners on first and third with no outs, Shirah was forced to exit the game due to injury. First-year Ryan Bibb replaced Shirah and was instantly greeted with a RBI sacrifice bunt from Lehigh sophomore catcher Owen Walewander. 

At 2-1, Lehigh had their first lead of the day, but it was an entirely different story from the third inning on. 

The Mountain Hawk’s bats could not solve Bibb, pitching in his seventh NCAA game, the rest of the afternoon. Bibb pitched six innings in relief allowing just one run for his first victory of his college career. 

Despite not recording a hit from the third through sixth inning, Leary saw some positives from the Mountain Hawk’s offense. 

Honestly we hit the ball harder in game two than game one.” Leary said. “I think we grounded into three or four double plays, but just as a whole, when you have three hits in seven innings it’s just not enough.”

The turning point in game two was the top of the fourth inning when Navy scored four runs to take a 5-2 lead. 

Navy first-year catcher Jack Killelea, who batted ninth in the order, drove in two runs with a single off of sophomore Tommy Lamar to give Navy a 3-2 lead. 

With the bases loaded and the top of the lineup ready to tee off, Lamar struggled to find the strike zone. Murtha and Senior third-baseman Logan Keller, both of whom are top ten in the Patriot League in batting average, walked to drive in two more runs. 

“We just had one rough inning.” Leary said. “We’ve been outstanding on the mound pretty much all year and we had one tough inning and to their credit, they took advantage of it.” 

Trailing 6-2 entering the bottom of the seventh inning, the Mountain Hawks found some life. 

Junior right-fielder Andrew Kohl took a 3-2 pitch from Bibb deep over the left field fence for his sixth home run of the season. Kohl’s home run was Lehigh’s only hit off of Bibb on Saturday. 

“I think it’s a little bit of a confidence boost.” Kohl said. “Definitely would like to have those happen in bigger situations, but definitely nice just to get one, put energy back in the team. It just happened to come at the end of the game.” 

With Lehigh searching for an offensive spark in Sunday’s doubleheader against Bucknell, Kohl believes they need to alter their approach.

“I think we’re just getting a little bit too big at times,” Kohl said. “We just have to go back to being simple, work backside, try to sit on top of balls and just hit line drives around the field.”

The Mountain Hawks will face off against Bucknell in a double header at home on Sunday, April 7.

Comment policy

Comments posted to The Brown and White website are reviewed by a moderator before being approved. Incendiary speech or harassing language, including comments targeted at individuals, may be deemed unacceptable and not published. Spam and other soliciting will also be declined.

The Brown and White also reserves the right to not publish entirely anonymous comments.

Leave A Reply