Feb. 17, 2006
Due to the weather forecast for the weekend, the Lipscomb Bisons took the field two hours earlier than scheduled on Friday, February 17 to take on the Chicago State Cougars in the first game of a double header.
The Bisons settled for a split after taking game one 8-2.
The Cougars started the scoring in the first inning when Raven Jackson singled in Chris Goya for the first run of the game.
The Bisons struck back in the bottom of the second when Caleb Joesph scored on a past ball.
The score remained tied until the bottom of the fourth. Zac Miller led off the inning with a walk. Joseph singled to left field, but a throwing error by the left fielder advance Miller to third and Joseph to second. Jeff Baumgartner followed with a single to left scoring both runners to make the score 3-1.
Chicago State got a run back in the top of the sixth after Luke Grow singled in John Torres to bring the score to 3-2.
The star of the game was the starting pitcher for the Bisons Josh Smith, who earned the win after pitching seven innings while giving up just two earned runs on five hits. He struck out ten.
"I thought Smith was excellent," head coach Wynn Fletcher said. "It was his first college game and he really pitched with a lot of poise. He has great stuff."
Offensively, the Bisons were led by Joseph and Brewer who each had three hits in the win.
If game one was defined by pitching, game two was anything but.
Paul Piennette got the game two start for the Bisons, and after breezing through the first two innings, ran into trouble in the third. The Cougars scored ten runs in the inning. Piennette gave up only 2 hits in his 2.1 innings of work but he walked four and hit two batters.
"In the third inning Paul hit a wall," Fletcher said. "He couldn't throw one across. Then our relief pitchers struggled. You can't do that and win."
Six Bisons pitchers walked 11 batters and gave up 12 hits in the 16-14 loss.
After falling behind 11-0, the Bisons spent the rest of the game trying to claw their way back.
"One thing I saw tonight is that our team has a lot of character," Fletcher said. "They could have taken the easy road and quit but they didn't. They forged together and almost made it happen."
The closest the Bisons came to catching the Cougars was in the eighth inning when the team scored eight runs on five hits to bring the score to 16-14 where it would remain.
Nathan Sensing led the team offensively with four hits. Eric Abend, Brewer, and Joseph each had two hits in the effort.
"We'll be okay," Fletcher said. "We have got talented young men who play hard. We just have to find the right mix to keep out there all the time."