NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Combining to leave 23 runners on base on the afternoon, the Lipscomb baseball team dropped both ends of an Atlantic Sun Conference doubleheader 4-0 and 6-5 to Stetson on Sunday afternoon at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium.
The opener of the twinbill saw the Bisons (15-30, 5-13 A-Sun) leave 11 runners on base without scratching across a run before the Hatters (20-23, 9-8 A-Sun) pitching staff managed to leave a dozen Lipscomb runners on base in the nightcap.
Game one saw Stetson jump out to a 2-0 lead on Lipscomb freshman starter Denton Norman but a double play managed to keep things in check in the first inning. The Hatters would add another pair of runs in the sixth inning on a two-run blast from James Rasmussen.
Norman would take the loss giving up six runs and four hits in 6.2 innings of work. The reigning Tennessee Sports Writer’s Association “Pitcher of the Week” walked a pair and fanned one batter in his first A-Sun start.
Stetson ace Austin Perez improved to 6-1 on the season scattering seven hits over 7.2 scoreless innings of work. The righty notched seven strikeouts while only walking two Bisons to earn the win. Tyler Warmoth picked up the save working the final out in the ninth inning.
Game two of the day was scheduled to be a seven-inning affair due to conference rules but turned out to be a nine-inning contest as the game went to extra innings.
It would be the Bisons that would push across the first run in the second game of the day as senior right fielder Lee Wilson led off the frame with a hit-by-pitch, moved into scoring position on a Taylor Stewart bunt and came home to score on a single to left field by senior shortstop Aaron Sandoval.
Lipscomb’s only lead of the afternoon would be gone in a blink of an eye however, as the Hatters answered right back in the top of the second with a three-run stanza capped off by a 2-RBI triple by Darby McCormick.
The 3-1 score would hold until the fourth inning when the Bisons would draw even with a two-run inning. Sandoval got the frame started with a leadoff walk before a one-out double by junior left fielder Chad Shannon made it a 3-2 game. Shannon would come home one batter later to tie the game when senior third baseman Gray Hutchinson singled to right field.
Again the Hatters would answer right back in the very next half inning as Stetson tagged Lipscomb reliever Blake Fonfara for a pair of runs after the senior came on to start the frame.
Trailing 5-3 with just six outs remaining, the Bisons offense awoke in the sixth inning as sophomore first baseman Tyson Ashcraft was beaned and Hutchinson drew a one-out walk to put two aboard for LU. A Zach Lowery single to left field brought Ashcraft across the dish and moved Hutchinson into scoring position for Wilson, who tied the game 5-5 with a single up the middle.
The seventh inning saw the Bisons try to mount a two-out rally to win the game as Ashcraft singled through the right side and Shannon laced his fourth hit in five trips to put runners on the corners. That set the table for Hutchinson and the veteran delivered a fading line drive into right field that looked like it would find the friendly turf but Stetson right fielder Robert Bruce made a highlight reel, diving catch to send the game into extra innings.
The Bisons would have another chance to win the game in the eighth getting a runner into scoring position but again, the Hatters got out of the jam before using a one-out single that was followed by a double to the right centerfield gap to claim the win and the series for the Hatters.
Adam Schaly picked up the win in relief for Stetson tossing the final 1.2 innings allowing one hit and one walk. Lipscomb senior Tyler Burstrom, who earned the win against the Hatters in relief on Friday night, took the loss for the Bisons allowing one earned run and two hits in two innings of work.
The Bisons hit the road next weekend for a three-game series at Northern Kentucky beginning on Friday night in the “Bluegrass State”.