Baseball earns series victory over Lehigh behind Trey Durrah’s 15 RBIs

Baseball+opened+up+the+conference+schedule+strong%2C+winning+a+series+at+Lehigh.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Athletic+Communications%29

Baseball opened up the conference schedule strong, winning a series at Lehigh. (Photo courtesy of Athletic Communications)

Ryan Green

The Lafayette baseball team took three out of four games this past weekend from Lehigh. The Leopards swept the Saturday games (4-1 and 10-9) and won early on Sunday (14-2), before losing the final game of the series, 16-9.

In the opening game of the series, sophomore pitcher JP Woodward delivered a gem to pick up his first win of the season. He tossed a complete game of seven innings, allowing just one run on five hits. Offensively, the Leopards were paced by two freshmen who each had two hits, shortstop Justin Johnson and catcher Dylan Minghini. Johnson was named the Patriot League’s Rookie of the Week.

“I think we entered the weekend with the mentality that once you enter Patriot League play, it is a whole new season,” sophomore infielder Ethan Stern said. “It was a good opportunity to have a clean slate and get off to a fresh start.”

In game two, while Lafayette almost squandered a late lead, junior outfielder Trey Durrah’s eight runs batted in led the team to victory. Durrah was named Patriot League Player of the Week, finishing the series with 15 RBIs and going 8-16, with four walks and a hit by pitch.

“Trey had been struggling a little earlier in the year, but there had been that feeling that something is going to click,” said Stern. “This past weekend it all clicked and he really stepped up for us.”

Sunday’s game saw more Lafayette offense, but they were unable to match Lehigh’s 16 runs in the final game of the series. While the Leopards did not pick up the sweep, Stern did have two multi-hit and multi-RBI games on Sunday.

“This series was huge for us,” Stern said. “It’s such a great rivalry and to take this series in our program’s 150th anniversary, that only made the victory even sweeter.”

On Tuesday, the Leopards rode their momentum into the Liberty Bell Classic, attempting to defend their title crown from last year. The team utilized their bullpen to defeat St. Joseph’s by a score of 3-1. Senior infielder Spencer Rouse went 2-4 with an RBI, while senior relief pitcher David Giusti picked up his second victory of the year.

“The experience to get to play in Citizen’s Bank Park, the Phillies home stadium, is something to look back at when we leave Lafayette,” said Stern. “These games are always great team efforts. We usually have to use lots of our pitching staff, a bullpen day, to grind out a win with everyone. It makes the victory even better.”

The Leopards will host Navy in their home opener this weekend. Navy is 6-2 in the conference and 17-9 overall. The series starts at noon on Saturday.