April 26, 2008
The Lipscomb Bisons fell 4-2 against ETSU Saturday evening at Marsh Stadium.
The Bisons, one of top offensive teams in the conference, struggled against first-time ETSU starter RHP Ben Andrews.
"We pitched well enough to win," said Lipscomb Coach Jeff Forehand, "but, when you get six hits as a team that is as offensive minded as we are and leave the bases loaded a couple times, that's not a winning formula."
Brandon McClurg struck out 12 batters, but the Bisons only recorded six hits and left four runners in scoring position.
ETSU struck first in the top of the first inning. After a one-out single, an error by second baseman Ben Williams put runners on first and second. Three consecutive weak-hit singles by the Buccaneers allowed one unearned run to score before McClurg finished the inning with two strikeouts.
With one out in the 4th inning, junior center fielder Allen Bolden broke up a no-hitter on a double to left-center field. Junior catcher Caleb Joseph drove Bolden home with a single to right field to put the first run on the board for the Bisons.
Lipscomb had a chance to go ahead in the 5th with runners on the corners with one out, but the Bisons were unable to capitalize on the opportunity after third baseman Branden Cadavid popped up to the pitcher and Ben Williams lined out to right field.
ETSU second baseman Ben Allen was hit by McClurg to lead off the 7th. Center fielder Jacob Fabry followed with a double to right field. Left fielder Troy Mendez drove Allen and Fabry home with a single up the middle.
Sophomore RHP Matt Bowling relieved McClurg to start the 8th. Bowling tossed only one-third of an inning giving up one run on two hits and a walk before senior RHP Chris Burnett replace him. On Burnett's first pitch, Jacob Fabry grounded into a double play to end the inning.
The Bisons gave ETSU a scare in the bottom of the 8th. Ryan Wilkins reached on an error by the shortstop to leadoff. A walk issued to Ben Williams put runners on first and second with one out. Allen Bolden singled Wilkins home to make the game 4-2. ETSU pitcher Ben Andrews issued a carefully crafted walk to Caleb Joseph to load the bases. LHP Matt McGahey was brought in to face lefty Blake Bratcher who grounded out to end the inning.
McClurg received the loss for the Bisons falling to 5-3. In seven innings of work, McClurg gave up three runs, two earned, on six hits and one walk while striking out twelve. McClurg's ERA dropped to 2.70.
Coach Jeff Forehand was proud of the way McClurg pitched, but was a little disappointed that the offense was not able to help him toward a win.
Ben Andrews picked up the win for ETSU improving to 3-3. He gave up two runs, one earned, on five hits and two walks. Matt McGahey notched his first save of the year.
Lipscomb falls to 22-20 overall and 16-10 in Atlantic Sun. ETSU improves to 13-30 overall, 9-17 in the A-Sun.
The Bisons and Bucs face off Sunday at noon in the series-deciding finale. Senior LHP Mike Dunn (3-3, 4.98) will take the mound Sunday for the Bisons. RHP Brandon Langston (2-7, 5.83) will start for ETSU.