May 6, 2004
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - A four run sixth inning rally helped Lehigh (25-20 overall) defeat Villanova (25-19-1) by a score of 11-3 in the final of the 13th annual Liberty Bell Classic at Citizens Bank Park here on Thursday evening.
Lehigh gained the early advantage in the opening inning when third baseman John Zaszewski drilled a one-out home run into the left field seats off Wildcat starting pitcher Nick Allen.
Villanova moved ahead in the second inning when it scored a pair of runs off Lehigh starter Joel Hockman. Wildcat designated hitter Danny Poydenis singled and then was safe at second when Lehigh second baseman Jesse Novalis dropped the throw on a potential force out. The runners moved up on a wild pitch and then were brought home on consecutive sacrifice flies from catcher Jim Gillin and second baseman Mark Cardillo.
Lehigh tied the contest in the bottom of the fourth inning when left fielder Andrew Smith doubled home first baseman Forrest Doane, who had singled.
The Wildcats mounted a promising rally in the fifth before the Mountain Hawks engineered an unusual double play. With runners on first and second, senior Adrian Schau singled to left field. But Kris Molloy was caught in a rundown after rounding third and was tagged out. After Molloy was tagged, catcher Matt McBride fired to third base and Angelo Petracca was tagged out.
The Mountain Hawks regained the lead with a two-out rally in the sixth inning. Doane followed a single by McBride with a double into the right field corner, scoring McBride to make it a 3-2 Lehigh lead. A pair of walks loaded the bases before a wild pitch from reliever Mike Ciccotelli plated the Mountain Hawks' fourth run. A single by Jeff Baker brought two more runs in to give Lehigh a 6-2 edge before reliever Mike Grodecki got the final out.
In the seventh inning Lehigh padded its lead when McBride smacked a two-run home run off Grodecki into the left field seats to make it 8-2.
Brian Trotta's two-out single in the eighth inning drove home Poydennis with the 'Cats third run. But the Mountain Hawks responded in their half of the inning with three runs, keyed by McBride's RBI single.
Joe Raniszewski (2-2) picked up the win in relief for Lehigh while Allen (3-5) absorbed the loss.
Villanova is idle until May 12, when it hosts Penn State at 3:00 p.m. at the Villanova Ballpark at Plymouth Meeting.