HANOVER, Md. –
Sophomore infielder Nazier McIlwain homered for the first time this season in a 17-8 home loss against Lehigh on Wednesday, March 8th
at Joe Cannon Stadium. The Eagles finished with season-highs in runs (9), hits (13), RBIs (5) and total bases (16).
McIlwain led the Eagles at the plate with three hits, three RBIs, two runs scored and a walk. Junior infielder John P. Bonanca had a season-best two hits, an RBI and a run scored. Junior catcher Brett Helmbrecht
garnered two hits tying a season-high with two runs scored which were season-best while senior infielder Bryant Miranda
also had two hits and scored a run. Defensively, senior outfielder Clinton Arnold
tied a career-high with six putouts and Helmbrecht paced the Eagles with seven.
Sophomore pitcher Devin Rivera Ozuna
made his second start of the season and went one inning and then sophomore Krystian Negron
was inserted. Negron went 4.0 innings striking out five Mountain Hawks. Sophomore pitcher Jahmon Taylor
was issued his second loss of the season going 2.2 innings striking out two batters.
Lehigh took a 2-0 lead over the Eagles in the first inning with a two run homer to left field. The Eagles responded with three runs on three hits and a pair of fielding errors by the Mountain Hawks in the bottom of the inning.
Junior infielder John P. Bonanca drew a walk in the leadoff spot and was later brought home on an RBI single by Nazier McIlwain to left-center field. Then junior outfielder Andres Santana
tied the score up at 2-2 crossing home plate on a pair of throwing errors by Lehigh. Freshman Corey Treyes
was credited with an RBI single on the play.
Lehigh tied it back up in the next inning after a triple base hit led to a score. CSU's junior catcher Brett Helmbrecht
led off the bottom of the second inning and singled up the middle for the Eagles' fourth hit of the afternoon. Bonanca blasted an RBI single to third base with two outs scoring Helmbrecht springing the Eagles back on top (4-3).
McIlwain recorded his first home run of the season with a solo shot to right field in the bottom of the third inning tying the game up at 5-5. In the fourth inning Helmbrecht had his second hit singling through the right side followed by Arnold singling to shortstop. On the next play, Lehigh's wild pitch allowed Helmbrecht to score with Coppin State leading 6-5.
Lehigh responded with two runs on two hits in the fifth inning to pull ahead (7-6). Miranda led the bottom of the inning off for the Eagles with a single to right field and then stole second base. McIlwain RBI singled through the right side tying the game (7-7) with McIlwain scoring.
Coppin State's defense began to struggle in the final three innings and were outscored 11-2. After the Mountain Hawks took an 8-7 advantage in the seventh they exploded for eight runs on six hits in the eighth inning. Lehigh extended their lead with two runs in the ninth inning and finally Coppin State scored two runs on a hit in the ninth inning. Freshman Isaiah Wilson
and senior Ryan Palardy
scored CSU's final runs on passed balls.
Lehigh finished with 17 hits and defeated Coppin State 18-9 improving to 2-5 while the Eagles fall to 1-8.