May 10, 2014
Army 3, Lehigh 2
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Jacob Page ripped a two-run single in the eighth inning as Army evened its Patriot League semifinal series with Lehigh following a 3-2 victory, Saturday at Johnson Stadium at Doubleday Field.
Page broke a 1-all tie with his base hit and Army snapped a four-game losing streak.
Army and Lehigh will play the decisive game three Sunday at 1 p.m. at Johnson Stadium.
Alex Robinett threw a complete-game five hitter and improved to 6-3. Robinett scattered five hits, struck out six and walked just one in his third complete game of the season.
"We regrouped and talked about living to play Sunday," said interim head coach Matt Reid. "We knew we were going to face another good arm. I thought we had some really good at bats. We just kept plugging away and knew something would fall. Page came up with a big hit and they guys beforehand did a great job getting on."
Army improved to 33-17, while Lehigh moved to 24-22.
"We knew we were going to get a strong effort out of Alex," said Reid. "And he delivered."
Lehigh starting pitcher Mike Burke threw 6.2 innings and allowed one unearned run. Kevin Long took the loss, throwing 2.1 innings and allowing two runs.
Lehigh, coming off of a 6-0 victory in the first game, quickly jumped ahead in the second game. Designated as the home team per Patriot League rules, the Mountain Hawks scored once in the bottom of the first inning. Justin Pacchioli led off the game with a single, stole second and scored on a double by Joe Abeln.
Army had base runners in the second inning. With our out, Harold Earls was hit by a pitch and Alex Jensen singled. Earls stole third but Jensen was out at second. Patrick Mescher then worked a walk and stole second to put runners on second and third. A fly out ended the frame though.
The Black Knights tied the game in the sixth. Jon Crucitti reached on an error and took second on a sacrifice bunt by Daniel Cortes. One out later, Page reached on an error and Crucitti crossed easily to knot the score at 1.
Army had a pair of in the seventh inning before relief pitcher Kevin Long entered and ended the threat.
Crucitti walked to start the eighth inning and alertly took second on a passed ball. Daniel Cortes reached on an error and Mark McCants was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Page then delivered a two-run single to give Army its first lead of the series at 3-1.
"We started seeing the ball up in the second game," said Page. "We went in with a winning mentality and wanted to do whatever it took to win."
Lehigh made a run in the bottom of the ninth. With two outs, Tyler Brong hit a solo home run to cut the deficit to one but Robinett ended the game with strikeout.
GAME NOTES: Army began Term-Ending Exams on Saturday ... Commencement is set for Wednesday, May 28 ... Daniel Cortes doubled in the first inning, his seventh of the season ... Army and Lehigh have split six games this season.