The Bison baseball team traveled to Bethlehem, Pa. on April 20-21 to take on Lehigh in a three-game series. The team was swept by Lehigh, losing two heartbreakers to their rival as the Mountain Hawks walked off in consecutive games. Then, on April 23 in a mid-week game against Mount St. Mary’s in Emmetsburg, Md., the Bison fell once again by a score of 16-7. Just one day later, the Bison bounced back with a 9-7 victory over La Salle.
In the opener against Lehigh, the Orange and Blue scored an early lead in the first inning with a solo home run by Dominic Toso ’21. After the Mountain Hawks scored two runs in the first three innings, Tyler Wincig ’20 hit his team-leading seventh home run of the season to tie the game at two in the fourth inning. In the top of the seventh, JohnPaul Bell ’20 ripped a triple that scored Toso and tied the score at three. Catcher Alex Baumann ’20 then walked, leaving men at the corners with no one out. However, the Orange and Blue ran themselves out of the inning and lost a prime opportunity to go ahead in the game. Lehigh hit a two-run walk-off home run to win the game.
The Bison jumped out to an early lead in the second game of the day, with Bell picking up an RBI on a fielder’s choice in the first inning. An RBI single from Evan Madigan ’20 scored Baumann to give the Orange and Blue a 2-1 lead. Lehigh built a 3-2 advantage when the Bison scored three runs in the top of the fifth. Wincig hit a two-run home run, and Bell answered Wincig’s home run with a solo shot of his own right after. The lead did not last, as the Mountain Hawks went on to tie the score in the bottom of the eighth. The Bison played a good half inning in the ninth, using a sac fly from Baumann to score Luke Hartman ’20 and take a one-run lead. However, Gallo would hit his second walk-off the day, and the Orange and Blue lost another close game 7-6.
“Tyler [Wincig] has just been on another level this year, especially since coming back from his hamstring injury,” corner infielder Peter Marren ’21 said. “Being his teammate throughout travel ball in high school, the biggest difference between this year and the past is how the game looks like it has slowed down for him. He worked really hard in the offseason, putting on some good weight and working on his swing, and the hard work has shown this season. I also think being more of a leader on the team this year has allowed him to be more comfortable, as well as more confident.”
In the series finale, the Bison fell behind in the second inning, when the Mountain Hawks hit a grand slam and took a 4-0 lead. The Orange and Blue did not register a run until the fifth inning when Madigan hit an RBI single to score Marren. Lehigh hit a solo home run in their half of the fifth to bring the score to 5-1. RBIs from Marren, Bauman, and Hartman made it a one-run game, but Lehigh got a run back in the eighth and was able to hold on for the 6-4 win. It was the Bison’s sixth straight game losing by three runs or less, showing that the effort is still there but the Bison are having difficulty closing out games.
On April 24, after losing the prior day to Mount St. Mary’s, the Bison gained momentum after a 9-7 win over La Salle. With five runs coming in the seventh inning, the team finished the game with 15 total hits, the second-highest this season.
The Bison next take on Lafayette for two games on April 27, followed by two games against Lehigh on April 28. The team’s overall record stands at 11-32, with a 3-18 record in conference play.
“I also think that the team will be extremely motivated to get revenge on Lehigh after the two walk-off losses from this past weekend,” Marren said. “I think everyone is also excited to get another shot against Lafayette as we know we are capable of beating both of those teams this weekend.”