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May 14th, 2014

Lehigh Nips Army to Win Series

Army First Baseman Patrick Mescher singled up the middle to score Lindner early in the semifinal game against Lehigh. Hudson Valley Press/CHUCK STEWART, JR.

WEST POINT - Lehigh scored runs in three separate innings and held on to beat Army, 3-1, Sunday in the third game of a Patriot League semifinals series.

Third-seeded Lehigh won the best-of-three matchup against Army and will play top-seed Bucknell next weekend in the Patriot League Championship Series.

Army, the second seed, ends its season at 33-18.

Lehigh won the first game 6-0, Army took the second 3-2 and then the Mountain Hawks strung together 12 hits in the decisive third game to clinch the series.

"We didn’t execute very well," said Army interim head coach Matt Reid. "We didn’t come up with the big hit and it didn’t work out for us."

Nick Cassell, Lehigh’s usual c loser, earned the win with 5.0 innings of work. He scattered three hits, walked three and struck out four. Joe McNamara earned the save with two innings of work.

Army starting pitcher Gunnar Carroll absorbed the loss. He went 4.1 innings, allowed three runs, two earned and struck out three. He did not walk a batter. Brian Hapeman fired 4.2 innings of scoreless relief that included a strike out.

Army used a stellar defensive play to cut down one run at the plate. In the second inning, John Elson reached on an error and Tyler Brong doubled to left field. Army left fielder Daniel Cortes chased the ball down and fired to cut off man Alex Jensen. Jensen threw to catcher Ben Smith who applied the tag to cut the run off.

Lehigh did score the game’s first run though when after a strikeout, Patrick Donnelly doubled to score Brong for a 1-0 advantage.

Army knotted the game in its half of the inning. With one out Kris Lindner walked and stole second. Jensen also worked a walk before Patrick Mescher singled up the middle to score Lindner.

The Black Knights turned a 5-4-3 double play in the second inning to end a first-and-third with one out threat.

Lehigh took its second lead of the game in the fourth inning. Elson and Brong opened the frame with consecutive singles and advanced a base on a sacrifice bunt. Donnelly singled to score Elson. Army then turned another 5-4-3 double play to end the inning with Lehigh on top, 2-1.

Army had a pair of runners aboard in the fourth when Jacob Page singled and Jensen walked but Cassell, who entered in the third inning, recorded a strikeout to end the inning.

The Mountain Hawks added to their advantage in the fifth inning. With one out, Justin Pacchioli was hit by a pitch and stole second. Mike Garzillo singled up the middle to score Pacchioli for a 3-1 lead.

Lehigh turned double plays in both the sixth and eighth inning to erase Army base runners.

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