Saturday, February 20, 2016

Norfolk State-Lehigh Baseball Series Pushed Back

NORFOLK, Virginia -- Due to wet field conditions at Marty L. Miller Field, the Norfolk State baseball team's 2016 season-opening series has been pushed back a day this weekend.

The Spartans will not play Saturday, but will host Lehigh for a three-game series starting on Sunday. The teams will play a doubleheader starting at noon, then will complete their series with a single contest starting at 11 a.m. on Monday.

Live stats and video will be available for all three games at
The Lehigh baseball team kicks off the 2016 season this weekend with a three-game series at defending MEAC North champs Norfolk State. A doubleheader will be played at 12 p.m. Sunday with a single game to follow Monday at 11 a.m. The series was originally scheduled for Saturday-Sunday, but had to be moved back one day due to wet field conditions at Norfolk State's Marty L. Miller Field.

The Mountain Hawks have made back-to-back Patriot League Championship appearances including the program's second-ever league crown and NCAA Tournament appearance in 2015. Lehigh finished the 2015 season with a 25-31 overall record and 12-8 mark in Patriot League play. The Mountain Hawks earned the No. 2 seed in the Patriot League Tournament before taking down No. 3 Holy Cross in the semifinals and top-seeded Navy in the championship series to earn the league title and trip to NCAA Regionals. Lehigh was predicted to finish third in this year's Patriot League preseason poll and the Mountain Hawks will look to Preseason Patriot League Player of the Year senior Mike Garzillo and fellow preseason All-League member junior Jacen Nalesnik to lead the way.

Senior captains Garzillo, Mackey Price, Kevin Long and Kevin Boswick, along with the rest of the upperclassmen, will be depended upon to help guide a freshman class of 10. The Mountain Hawks graduated nine talented seniors, but return several experienced players for the 2016 campaign.

Garzillo returns as Lehigh's offensive leader after earning All-America laurels and being drafted by the New York Yankees a season ago. The second baseman hit .359 with 54 RBI a season ago. Long is expected to get the start on the mound in game one at Norfolk State, while Boswick will toe the rubber for game two. Long finished last season with a team-best five wins, while Boswick will be transitioning into a starting role after serving as Lehigh's closer a season ago. Junior Matt Kozemchak will take the mound for game three. Kozemchak missed a majority of last season with an injury, but went 2-0 with a 2.53 ERA as a freshman.

Norfolk State is coming off one of its most successful seasons in program history as the Spartans went 27-16 overall and 19-5 in conference play to earn the team's first-ever MEAC North championship. The team set school Division I records for overall and conference victories in a season. The Spartans were picked to repeat as MEAC Northern Division champs this season in the conference's preseason poll, while senior pitcher Matt Outman was tabbed as the preseason Pitcher of the Year. NSU welcomes back 18 letterwinners from last year's team.

In addition to Outman's Preseason Pitcher of the Year honor, four other Spartans earned spots on the preseason All-MEAC teams. Sophomore catcher Ismael Herrera, junior infielder Roger Hall and outfielders Denathan Dukes and Angel Rosario were all voted to the preseason All-MEAC second team. Dukes returns as the team's offensive leader after batting .357 a season ago, while Rosario followed with a .338 batting average.

Outman is projected to get the game-one start for the Spartans Saturday. The senior led the MEAC in wins (8) and strikeouts (85) a season ago. Freshman Chase Anderson will get the starting nod in game two, while junior Devin Hemmerich will handle game three.

Following this weekend's three-game series, the Mountain Hawks will return to action on March 2 at Coppin State before traveling to Marshall for a three-game set March 5-6.

Like Lehigh baseball on Facebook and follow on Twitter for exclusive updates throughout the season.

Probable pitching matchups vs. Norfolk State:
Game 1: RHP Kevin Long vs. LHP Matt Outman
Game 2: RHP Kevin Boswick vs. RHP Chase Anderson
Game 3: LHP Matt Kozemchak vs. LHP Devin Hemmerich

Matt Michalec, Asst. AD/Communications

No comments: