April 24, 2004
Lafayette swept a critical Patriot League doubleheader from host Lehigh by scores of 3-2 and 8-1 at Goodman Field on Saturday afternoon. The pair of victories clinches a playoff berth for the Leopards (19-19 overall, 11-7 Patriot League), who will be the second seed in the league's postseason tournament. Meanwhile, the Mountain Hawks will enter the final day of the season in a four-way tie for the final playoff position. Lehigh is now 22-19 overall on the season, and 7-11 against Patriot League competition.
In the first game, the Leopards grabbed a two-run lead off Lehigh starter Jack Muscalus (6-3). After second baseman Jeff Rodgers ripped a one-out single to left, back-to-back doubles from Rob Fioretti and Jason Boyd made the score two-nothing.
Late in the game, the Mountain Hawks rallied to tie the score with a pair in the home half of the sixth. Matt McBride doubled in a run, and Andrew Smith doubled home McBride to knot the score at 2-2.
The Leopards answered with a run in the seventh on a clutch two-out single from Adam Rosenberg. Lehigh couldn't answer against Leopards senior Marcus Ward (5-1), as Lafayette hung on for the victory.
In game two, Lafayette scored eight times on nine hits to cruise to the victory and the twinbill sweep. Brian Cope was in control on the mound, and the freshman notched a complete game. Cope struck out six Lehigh batters in running his record to 2-1 on the season.
Karl Weimer (3-2) was saddled with the loss for Lehigh. After allowing two runs in the first, Frank Cortazar lined a pitch off Weimer's shin to start the second inning, forcing the hurler out of the game.
Offensively in game two, Jason Boyd smashed two homers and was 3-for-5 at the plate to lead Lafayette. Matt McBride and Jeff Baker collected two hits apiece in the nightcap for the Mountain Hawks.
Elsewhere in the Patriot League Saturday, Holy Cross (7-11 PL) swept a doubleheader from host Bucknell (7-11). In Annapolis, Army (15-3) and the Midshipmen (7-11) split a pair of games. So, entering Sunday's action, Lehigh, Bucknell, Holy Cross, and Navy are all tied for the final playoff position.
If Lehigh sweeps Lafayette Sunday, the Mountain Hawks will get in if Holy Cross wins at least once at Bucknell Sunday. The Mountain Hawks hold the tiebreaker with Navy, but not against the Bison. Lehigh and Holy Cross split their season series, and each beat Army once.
Lehigh hosts the Leopards in a doubleheader Sunday beginning at noon at Goodman Field. Both games will be broadcast live on Lehigh's web site at Lehighsports.com.