April 9, 2006
In a game originally scheduled for Friday April 7, but postponed due to bad weather, the Bisons could not hold on to an early 4-3 lead on their way to an 11-7 loss to Mercer on Sunday, April 9.
"We did not play bad at all," Lipscomb catcher Caleb Joseph said. "We played pretty much error free, we made all the plays, and we had timely hits. We played a pretty good baseball game. We will play well some days and the scoreboard is just not going to go our way. That will happen during the course of a 50 game schedule."
Right-hander Josh Smith received the start for the Bisons. In 4.1 innings he gave up five runs, four earned, on six hits and three walks. He struck out three.
The Bears got on the board early with three runs in the first. However, the Bisons battled back in the bottom of the second. Zac Miller led off with a double to right center. With one out, Jeff Baumgartner was hit by a pitch. David Becker followed with a walk to load the bases. The next batter, freshman second basemen Branden Cadavid, drilled a grand slam to left center to give the Bisons a 4-3 lead.
The lead was short-lived, however. Smith gave up the game-tying run on a sacrifice fly by Eric Renfroe in the top of the third.
Right-hander Brandon McClurg relieved Smith with one out in the fifth and runners on first and second. Following the pitching change Renfroe walked to load the bases. After striking out the next batter, McClurg issued a bases loaded walk to Billy Shaugnessy to give the Bears a 5-4 lead.
Mercer added five more runs in the sixth inning to increase their lead to ten. The Bisons added a run of their own in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI fielder's choice by Tadd Brewer. Two more Lipscomb runs would cross the plated in the bottom of the seventh to bring the Bisons to within three. However, Mercer added another run in the top of the eighth and Bears' pitcher Andrew Urena held the Bisons scoreless throughout the final two innings.
Smith received the loss for the Bisons to lower his record to 3-3. His ERA now stands at 5.40 and opponents are batting .253 against him.
The Bisons are now 7-8 in conference play, while the Bears improved to 9-6.
"We still feel good about where we are in the standings," Joseph. "We are just one really good series away from first place and that is the encouraging thing. We just have to get back to work this week, go out next weekend, and try to play some good baseball."