Friday, April 15, 2011
As the 2011 baseball campaign enters the backstretch, the Bisons will attempt to hone in on the next immediate challenge. From here on out, the most important game will be the one the Bisons play next.
Lipscomb (12-22, 3-9 A-Sun) will host USC Upstate (12-24, 6-10 A-Sun) this weekend in a three-game series that will kick off Saturday with a double-header beginning at noon. Due to forecasted storms, the game originally scheduled for Friday has been moved to Sunday at Noon.
Lipscomb head coach Jeff Forehand said he wants to win every conference game but especially the ones at home.
“We have got 18 conference games left,” Forehand said. “Every weekend they are critical and this week is the same, especially when you are playing at home. We have got to defend our home field and put together three good games.”
The Bisons split two midweek games this week with a 13-3 win over Alabama A&M on Tuesday and a 7-4 road loss on Wednesday night at UT Martin. Despite Wednesday’s disappointing outcome, Forehand did see some encouraging signs from the Bisons.
“I am enthusiastic,” Forehand said. “Even though we put ourselves in a hole Wednesday night early in the game, we still fought back and had an opportunity to win it.”
“You have always got to take some positives from what happened. If we keep putting up 11 hits and pitching the way we have been pitching, it has got to turn pretty soon.”
Lipscomb has lost seven of its last eight games. Despite the slump, the Bisons have given themselves plenty of chances to win. In the seven losses, Lipscomb has fallen by an average of just 2.6 runs per game.
Forehand said the Bisons have struggled to produce runs when the opportunities present themselves.
“Timely hits are the name of the game,” Forehand said. “For whatever reason, we are not getting them when we need to.”
Lipscomb will attempt to stop a five-game conference skid as they focus their attention towards the Spartans of USC Upstate. The Spartans enter the series one spot in front of Lipscomb in the A-Sun standings but are not eligible to compete in this year’s A-Sun Tournament.
The Spartans are led by their sophomore left-handed ace Scott DeCecco. On the year, DeCecco has a 6.16 ERA and a team-leading 46 strikeouts. Earlier this season he helped put away the Atlantic Sun’s number one team Stetson in a 6-0 decision.
“Just like everybody, they have got a good Friday night guy (DeCecco),” Forehand said. “You can look at his stats and the one thing that stands out to me the most is that he pitched a great game against Stetson.”
Lipscomb will send sophomore lefty Blake Fonfara to the mound in game one during Saturday’s double-header. Right-handed junior Connor Sinclair is slated to start game two on Saturday.
All of this week’s action can be heard for free on the Lipscomb Sports Network. Each game will also be televised live on A-Sun TV.