Bison baseball finishes 3-1 in Lehigh series with doubleheader sweep

Lucas Friedman, Contributing Writer

Bison baseball opened up Patriot League play on April 1—2 by winning three out of four games against Lehigh in Bethlehem, Pa. ,including their first doubleheader sweep of the season on April 2. The Orange and Blue looked sharp on both sides of the field despite coming off a tough week, which included three losses to Cornell.

The Bison struck first in game one on April 1, winning 3-1 behind a strong performance from pitcher Connor Van Hoose ’18. Van Hoose dominated the Mountain Hawks, striking out 10 batters while only allowing one earned run in his first career complete game. Van Hoose got run support early in the second and third innings, courtesy of RBI singles from Evan Klugerman ’19 and Sam Clark ’17.

The Mountain Hawks got revenge in game two on April 1, cruising past the Orange and Blue by a score of 10-2. Lehigh jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the fifth inning, which proved too much for the Bison to overcome. Jack Grabek ’19 allowed six earned runs in 3.2 innings pitched.

The Bison came out on April 2, the second day of play, full of energy and dominated the Mountain Hawks on their way to a doubleheader sweep and series victory. The Orange and Blue won game one by a score of 3-2. The Bison started off quickly, scoring the game’s first run in the top of the first. Brett Smith ’17 set up Clark for the RBI double by leading off the game with a single and a stolen base.

The Bison continued to play small ball by scoring their final two runs off a balk and a groundout. Jeff Gottesman ’19 had a strong start, going 6.2 innings and only allowing one earned run. Mike Stephens ’18 closed out the game to earn his first save of the year. This victory marked the 100th career win for head coach Scott Heather, who joins the likes of legendary Gene Depew and Tommy Thompson.

The Bison bats stayed hot in the second game of the doubleheader, prevailing 8-0.  The Orange and Blue were led on offense by JohnPaul Bell ’20, who hit his first career home run in the first inning. Bell polished off his big week with two more RBI’s in the sixth inning.

“It’s always a good feeling to give back to the team,” Bell said. “To get my first home run off Lehigh is a great feeling.”

Mike Castellani ’17 encored his first career complete game shutout last week with another one in game two. He only allowed five hits and fanned two. Castellani was named the Patriot League Pitcher of the Week for his performance against Cornell, and continued his success against Lehigh.

“These wins were big for us. This weekend we had a spark and a lot of guys stepped up. We always talk about energy and focus and I think that helped us play good team baseball,” Bell said.

The Bison are back in action April 8-9 as they resume Patriot League play with a four-game series against Army West Point at home.

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