On Saturday, Lehigh (1-0) began its 2021 season with a dominating 9-0 victory over Coppin State (0-3).
Led by preseason all-American, junior right-hander Mason Black, three Mountain Hawk pitchers threw a combined 1-hitter. Mason pitched 5.0 innings on an efficient 73 pitches and struck out 11 of the 16 batters he faced.
Sophomore righty Ryan Deom entered for three innings of relief adding 7 strikeouts for the Mountain Hawks before senior right-hander Yash Rane closed out the ninth with three straight strikeouts looking. In sum, Lehigh pitcher struck out 21 of the 29 batters they faced and walked nobody.
Offensively, the Mountain Hawks were led by senior right fielder Eric Cichocki who reached base six times. Cichocki was 4 for 6 and reached on an error twice. Once on base, the senior was a disruptive presence as he notched four stolen bases.
The Mountain Hawks offered a balanced and continuous offensive onslaught. Every hitter in the lineup earned at least one hit, and five separate Lehigh players had at least one RBI.
The win marked Head Coach Sean Leary's 500th in his career. He is the winningest coach in Mountain Hawk program history.
Entering the season, league coaches selected Lehigh to finish third in the Patriot League. However, College Baseball Nation has the Mountain Hawks as Patriot League favorites and Lehigh was selected for the Preseason Field of 64.
Lehigh and Coppin State are set to play the second game of a doubleheader later on Saturday. Lehigh will play four non-conference games against George Washington before starting Patriot League play on March 13 at Holy Cross.