NASHVILLE, Tenn. – With snow falling from the sky for most of the contest, the Lipscomb baseball team dropped the first game of a 3-game set 11-2 to Butler on Friday afternoon at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium in Nashville.
“We have to execute things a lot better,” said Lipscomb head coach Jeff Forehand. “We’ve got to execute from an offensive standpoint from pitch-to-pitch, from a defensive standpoint from pitch-to-pitch. When you don’t play efficient baseball and the other team does, you find yourself on the other end of a lopsided score.”
After the Bulldogs (3-4) pushed across a pair of runs in both the second and third innings off of Lipscomb (4-6) starter Josh Cotham, the Bisons would answer right back in the bottom of the third. Senior right fielder Lee Wilson drew a one-out hit-by-pitch before junior left fielder Chad Shannon singled through the left side giving LU runners on the corners.
A swipe of second base by Shannon put a pair of runners in scoring position and that would be key as sophomore first baseman Griffin Moore delivered a single through the right side plating both Wilson and Shannon to make it a 4-2 game.
Just when the momentum had shifted in the Bisons favor, the Bulldogs answered right back in the next half inning with a four-run frame that cut the wind from the sails of Lipscomb. From that point on, Lipscomb would only place three runners in scoring position the rest of the way as starter Eric Stout and reliever Billy Laing stymied the Bisons offensive attack.
Stout would pick up the win on the hill for Butler tossing five innings and allowing two earned runs and six hits. Stout walked one and fanned four to improve to 1-2. Laing would pick up the save pitching the final four innings and giving up only a pair of hits while notching seven strikeouts.
Cotham took the loss for Lipscomb after allowing nine runs and nine hits in five innings of work. The senior walked three and struck out six before handing over the reins to fellow senior Jordan Zelhart in the sixth.
Zelhart was one of the bright spots of the night for Lipscomb allowing one hit in two innings of work while notching a trio of strikeouts. Sophomore J. Hwang wrapped up the pitching on the mound for LU giving up a run in both the eighth and ninth innings.
Moore along with senior shortstop Aaron Sandoval led Lipscomb at the plate going 2-for-4. Shannon also had a pair of leadoff hits in five trips to the plate from the leadoff position.
Game two of the series is scheduled to get underway on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Dugan Field. Admission this weekend is free.