|Win: RUOTOLO (1-0)||3.0||0||0||0||2||4|
|Loss: ASHCRAFT (0-2)||3.0||4||3||3||2||2|
Friday, February 28, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Giving up a pair of runs in the top of the 10th inning, the Lipscomb baseball team dropped a 6-4, extra-inning decision to Connecticut in the series opener on Friday afternoon at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium.
“Tonight was a good baseball game,” said Lipscomb head coach Jeff Forehand. “We had our chances to win the game. We got (Austin) Sistrunk on to start the eighth, got him moved over and then Josh (Lee) hits a smash right at the second baseman. If that ball goes through, we’re up a run.”
“The bottom line is UConn executed and got the job done when they needed to and we didn’t. They gave themselves a chance to win making a couple of great plays in the outfield. They made some plays when they needed to and so did we. They just made one more than we did today.”
The Bisons (2-9) got the offense going right out of the gate as junior centerfielder Jonathan Allison laced a double into the left centerfield gap and later scored in the first on an RBI single by senior right fielder Drew Adams.
Lipscomb added a run in the third when junior shortstop Grant Massey teed off on a pitch and sent it over the left field wall for his first homer as a Bison making it a 2-0 lead.
The Huskies (4-3) would get on the scoreboard in the fifth inning when third baseman Bryan Daniello sent a liner into the right field corner and then came home on an infield groundout to make it a 2-1 game. Connecticut then took their first lead of the afternoon in the seventh cashing in on a hit by pitch and a walk to score a pair of runs and claim a 3-2 lead.
The Bisons answered right back in the bottom of the frame as senior designated hitter Chad Shannon reached on an infield single and then moved into scoring position on a slash single to left by junior first baseman Griffin Moore.
A failed pickoff attempt trying to nab Moore leaning at first wound up in the visiting bullpen and allowed Shannon to score easily from second and Moore to cruise into third. Lipscomb then retook the lead 4-3 when Moore scored from third on a grounder from senior catcher Nick Rome.
A leadoff single in the eighth got things going for the Huskies, who then executed a perfect sacrifice bunt to move the lead runner into scoring position. That would be a pivotal moment because two wild pitches later, Connecticut had made it a 4-4 tie that would send the game to extras.
UConn again executed solid baseball in the 10th to win the game. After the leadoff batter Max McDowell was hit by pitch, the Huskies moved him into scoring position and then drove him in with a single to left. The Huskies then added an insurance measure later in the inning for the 6-4 final.
Huskies reliever Patrick Ruotolo then returned to pitch the tenth and fanned the first two batters he faced looking. Junior Tyson Ashcraft kept the game alive with a two-out walk that brought the tying run to the plate but Ruotolo got Sistrunk to fly out to right that was just in reach of defensive replacement Jon Testani.
Ruotolo picked up the win to move to 1-0 allowing only a pair of walks in three innings of work. The righty also fanned four Bisons. Ashcraft took the loss for Lipscomb giving up three earned runs, four hits and two walks in three innings of work after relieving starter Ian Martinez-McGraw at the start of the eighth inning.
Martinez-McGraw went seven innings in his second start of the season giving up three earned runs and six hits to go along with six walks and four strikeouts.
The series continues on Saturday with a 2 p.m. first pitch at Dugan Field.
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