Yale Falls To Lehigh In Season Opener
Bulldogs' Five-Run Lead Not Enough To Secure First Win Of Season
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — The Spring Break excursion to the RussMatt Invitational got off to a great start for the Yale University baseball team, but the initial burst from the bats was not enough for the Bulldogs to hold on for a season-opening win.
The Bulldogs' bats came to life in the second inning, piling on six runs to take a commanding 6-1 lead, but the last seven innings did not fall the way the Bulldogs had hoped as Lehigh rallied to take an 8-6 lead at Myrtle Park on Saturday.
Trailing 1-0 with two runners on base, senior captain Andy Megee drilled a one-out double to put the Bulldogs on the board for a 2-1 lead. Trey Rallis singled home Megee and went to second on a walk to Andrew Kolmar. Ryan Brenner reached on an error by Lehigh third baseman Ryan Gajdos, scoring Rallis and allowing Kolmar to reach third base. Left fielder Charlie Neil followed with a two-run double to cap off the scoring in the inning and leave Yale leading 6-1.
Lehigh cut the deficit to 6-2 in the top of the third on a Kevin Mihalik RBI double and then poured on the offense in the fifth and sixth innings. In the fifth, Billy Goldman doubled in two runs and then scored on an RBI groundout by Andrew Russell.
Yale starter Vinny Lally was lifted after the fifth inning with Yale leading 6-5 after allowing five earned runs with six strikeouts and three walks. His relief, Greg Lyons struggled in his first inning of work but settled down after giving up three runs in the sixth inning. He finished with six strikeouts and only one walk, but the damage in the sixth inning was enough to erase Yale's lead and give Lyons the loss.
Lyons sandwiched a walk and a wild pitch between two strikeouts. But the Mountain Hawks' bats came to life with an RBI single by Gajdos followed by a two-run home run by Brendan McGaheran to put Lehigh ahead 8-6.
The Bulldogs had their chances in the late innings, putting at least one runner in scoring position with less than two outs in the sixth, seventh, and ninth innings, but they could not produce the big hit to reclaim the lead before the game's end.
Megee finished 3-for-6 with two RBIs and a run scored. Rallis and Cale Hanson each added two hits. The Bulldogs finished with 10 hits.
McGaheran went 3-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs scored to lead the Mountain Hawks. Goldman and Gajdos each added two hits. Thomas O'Malley threw three scoreless innings in relief to earn his first victory of the season. He struck out three and allowed only two hits.
The Bulldogs return to action Sunday against Xavier in Winter Haven, Fla.
Report filed by Jon Erickson Jr., Yale Sports Publicity