COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Stranding a dozen runners, the Lipscomb baseball team missed opportune scoring chances falling 9-8 to homestanding Tennessee Tech on Tuesday afternoon at Bush Stadium at the Averitt Express Baseball Complex.
Things looked good for the Bison (4-4) early as junior right fielder Lee Wilson hit a one-out bomb in the top of the first to give Lipscomb the 1-0 lead out of the gate. Lipscomb would not even carry the lead out of the inning however as the Golden Eagles (2-6) flexed their own muscle with a pair of home runs in the bottom of the first by Austin Wulf and James Abraham to put Tech out in front 3-1.
The Golden Eagles then made it a 4-1 lead in the second when Dylan Bosheers launched a home run.
“We had some opportunities to do some things,” said Lipscomb head coach Jeff Forehand. “We’ve got to make pitches when it counts and the offense has got to get the job done with runners in scoring position.
“We made a great comeback and we’ll have some good takeaways from it but we put ourselves in some tough spots by not driving in those runs.”
The Bison answered right back in the top of the third with a two-out rally to make it 4-3. Senior first baseman Zak Messer doubled to bring home Wilson, who had laced a two-bagger earlier in the frame. Then freshman designated hitter Griffin Moore singled to centerfield scoring Messer from second.
Lipscomb drew back even in the fifth inning when Messer came through again with a double to right center that brought home junior centerfielder Zach Lowery to make it square at four.
Forehand opted to bring on senior Dannie Strable (1-1) in relief of redshirt freshman Will Blalock, who went the first four innings allowing five hits and four earned runs and notched three strikeouts. Strable set the first two Golden Eagles down in order but then hit a pair of batters before Abraham hit a double to left center putting Tech back out in front 6-4.
Strable’s troubles continued at the start of the sixth as he hit his third Golden Eagle in four batters and then allowed a single to end his afternoon. Junior Tyler Burstrom was brought in out of the bullpen and was rudely greeted by Bosheers, who smashed the first pitch he saw from Burstrom over the centerfield fence that proved to be the difference.
After leaving the bases loaded in the seventh, the Bison got a rally going in the top of the eighth. Wilson got it started with a bunt single before Lowery was beaned and Messer singled through the left side to load the bases. That set the table for Moore, who delivered a double down the left field line plating both Wilson and Lowery. Junior catcher Taylor Stewart then ripped a single to right that made it a 9-8 contest as Messer and Moore came across the dish.
Matthew Shepherd (1-2) picked up the win in relief for the Golden Eagles going two and two-thirds innings of work and allowing one run and two hits. He also walked three and fanned three.
The Bison continue road action this weekend with a trip to Starkville, Miss., to take on Mississippi State and Connecticut. The Bison faceoff first against the Huskies on Friday at 2:30 p.m. at Dudy Noble Field at Polk Dement Stadium.