NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Looking to stay atop the Atlantic Sun Conference standings, the Lipscomb baseball team heads to the “Sunshine State” for a three-game series at league foe Stetson that gets underway on Thursday night at Melching Field in DeLand, Fla.
The Bisons head into the series 12-3 in A-Sun play while the Hatters are 3-9 so far in league action. Stetson is set to welcome veteran ace Kurt Schluter back to the lineup on Thursday night against the Bisons. Schluter injured a hamstring early in the season and has not made a start since Feb. 23.
Lipscomb junior righty Ian Martinez-McGraw is set to go head-to-head with Schluter on Thursday night. Redshirt junior Hunter Brothers is slated to start under the lights on Friday night against Stetson southpaw Austin Perez.
The series is slated to wrap up on Saturday afternoon with a matinee contest between Lipscomb sophomore righty Denton Norman and Stetson righthander Taylor Cockrell.
Lipscomb – Ian Martinez-McGraw – RHP – (6-1, 4.64 ERA, 64 IP, 29 BB, 37 K)
Stetson – Kurt Schluter – RHP – (1-1, 4.26 ERA, 12.2 IP, 8 BB, 8 K)
Lipscomb – Hunter Brothers – RHP – (2-1, 4.91 ERA, 40.1 IP, 32 BB, 30 K)
Stetson – Austin Perez – LHP – (0-6, 7.15 ERA, 45.1 IP, 14 BB, 24 K)
Lipscomb – Denton Norman – RHP – (5-2, 2.56 ERA, 56.1 IP, 20 BB, 31 K)
Stetson – Taylor Cockrell – RHP – (3-3, 4.45 ERA, 56.2 IP, 16 BB, 43 K)
Around the horn:
- The Bisons head into the weekend 11-18 in the series against the Hatters in the NCAA era. The Hatters have won 10 of the last 12 and six straight at Melching Field against the Purple and Gold.
- With 195 walks on the season, the Bisons are on pace to shatter the school record of 220 set just last season. Lipscomb came into the week ranked fourth nationally in base-on-balls trailing Tennessee Tech, Florida State and Dallas Baptist.
- Big innings have been a large part of the success for the team in 2014 so far. Six times this season the Bisons have posted seven or more runs in a frame. Lipscomb has also scored four or more runs in an inning 18 times so far.
- The Bisons sit atop the Atlantic Sun Conference rankings in slugging percentage (.426), on-base percentage (.395), runs scored (266), RBIs (233), doubles (78), total bases (527) and walks (192). On the mound, Lipscomb leads the league in opposing batting average (.231) and fewest hits allowed (273).
- Lipscomb entered the week ranked eighth in the nation in double plays having turned 38 pitcher’s best friends.
- A number of players ranked among the nation’s leaders coming into the week including junior shortstop Grant Massey who is tied for 11th in the nation in walks (31) and 18th in runs scored (38). Massey also ranks among A-Sun’s leaders in multiple categories: first in walks (31) tied for second in doubles (14), tied for third in stolen bases (11), fourth in total bases (80), fourth in on-base percentage (.472) and tied for fifth in hits (51).
- Senior outfielder Drew Adams entered the week as the nation’s seventh-best RBI man, knocking in 43. In the A-Sun, Adams ranks third in walks (27) and is tied for fourth in triples (3).
- Junior second baseman Mike Korte ranks second in the A-Sun in walks (28). Junior centerfielder Jonathan Allison is fifth in runs scored (34) and tied for seventh in RBIs (29).
- Redshirt-freshman catcher Tyler Bethune is tied for the league lead in sacrifice bunts (8) and has played a key role in the Bisons success this season. Bethune is second on the team hitting .333 at the dish. He is also second with a .491 slugging percentage.
- With 78 doubles on the season coming into the week, the Bisons ranked eighth in the nation.
- Lipscomb came into the week ranked seventh nationally with 16 triples and ninth in runs scored, plating 266 on the year.
- With a doubleheader sweep against Oakland on March 8, Lipscomb skipper Jeff Forehand picked up career win No. 400.