WORCESTER, Mass. – The Lehigh baseball team took care of business in the doubleheader opener at Holy Cross on Sunday afternoon to earn a berth in the Patriot League Tournament for the second consecutive season, going out victorious, 6-4 before falling 8-1 in the regular season finale at Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field.
The Mountain Hawks (26-22, 12-13 PL) are the third seed in the PLT, taking on second-seeded Bucknell in Lewisburg next Saturday in the best-of-three semifinal.
The Crusaders (17-35, 11-14 PL) also earned a ticket to the PLT following their win to fill the field as the No. 4 seed.
The offense was led by the junior receiver Adam Retzbach, who hit two solo homers with four hits and two runs scored. He also doubled in the Sunday split. Retzbach led the Patriot League in homers with 11 home runs this season, two shy of tying Lehigh’s single-season program record. Tyler Young went 3 for 5 with two walks, while Jake Whitlinger went 3 for 8 with a double and an RBI.
On the mound, senior southpaw Luke Rettig (8-2) sealed his eighth win of the season in the opener of the day, striking out seven in 5.1 innings of work, allowing one earned run on six hits. In the second game, right-handed junior Carlos Torres struck out five batters in 4.1 innings, allowing one earned run on four hits with two walks.
Retzbach started the second inning by four runs with a solo homer to left field in the second inning, giving the Mountain Hawks a 1-0 lead. First year Sam Holtz scored his second homer of the season, a two-run shot to left field to push the team ahead, 3-0. An RBI double for Whitlinger scored Chase Carlson to cap a weft with four passages.
Holy Cross scored his first point of the game late in the second inning on a groundout by Jake McElroy.
Retzbach’s second home run of the game came in the sixth inning to give the Mountain Hawks a 5-1 lead.
The Crusaders added two runs in the sixth inning to make it 5-3, then Joe Gorla scored through the right side in the seventh, scoring Sweeney to push the lead to 6-3. Holy Cross scored one more in the seventh to make it 6-4 as Casey Rother close the door to close the game and clinch the tournament spot.
In the series finale, the Crusaders scored the first six points of the game to take a 6-0 lead in the first seven frames.
Gerard Sweeney gave Lehigh its first inning of the game with a triple RBI to right field, making it 6-1 in favor of Holy Cross.
The Crusaders scored the last two points of the game to win 8-1.
Each of the first six batters in the order scored a hit with Young going 3 for 4.
Saturday’s double semi-final at Bucknell kicks off at noon with all three matches next weekend airing live on ESPN+ (subscription required).
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