NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Unable to capitalize in critical situations of the game, the Lipscomb baseball team dropped a 3-2 Atlantic Sun Conference decision to homestanding Stetson on Thursday night at Melching Field in DeLand, Fla.
The Bisons (24-15, 12-4 A-Sun) committed a pair of errors that led to two Stetson (15-24, 4-9 A-Sun) runs and left four runners in scoring position in the final five innings leading to the loss.
“We had opportunities to score,” said Lipscomb head coach Jeff Forehand. “We had a man on third with less than two outs twice and typically we’ve been pretty consistently getting that guy in but that didn’t happen tonight.
“Those are the kind of runs you have to win this close, tight ballgame. “
The Bisons opened the scoring in the contest in the second inning with a two-run frame. Junior designated hitter Tyson Ashcraft got things going with a leadoff double down the right-field line before redshirt-sophomore first baseman Adam Lee singled through the right side to plate Ashcraft.
Adam Lee then swiped second and moved 90 feet from the plate on a groundout by junior second baseman Mike Korte. That set the table for senior catcher Nick Rome, who grounded out to third allowing Adam Lee to come home and make it a 2-0 lead for the Bisons.
That lead would stay strong until the eighth inning when the Hatters mounted a comeback against Lipscomb starter Ian Martinez-McGraw. A costly miscue started the inning as Kyle Pitts hit a line drive to right that was misplayed and saw him cruise into second. Robert Bruce then laced a one-out triple down the right-field line to bring Pitts home.
With Pitts on third and one away, the Hatters went to the bench for leading hitter Patrick Mazeika and he delivered in the clutch with a single through the infield to tie the game at two.
The Hatters got another gift in the 10th as leadoff batter Mazeika reached on an error before Stetson’s Kyle Zech dropped a bunt that hugged the chalk and gave Stetson two aboard with no outs. A walk by Tyler Bocock set the table for Garrett Russini, who delivered a single through the right side of the infield to secure the win as Mazeika trotted home.
Junior reliever Jason Ziegler took the loss giving up the one run in the tenth to fall to 2-2 on the season. The southpaw surrendered one unearned run, two hits and a walk in one inning of action.
The Bisons got another solid starting effort from Martinez-McGraw, who did not factor in the decision. The knuckleballer tossed eight full innings allowing one earned run and five hits while walking one and fanning a pair.
“Ian’s been solid. I can’t fault him at all. If we put up more than two runs, he probably pitches better and closes the game out with a complete game. It all works together. “
Adams led the Bisons at the dish collecting three of the six hits for Lipscomb on the night with a 3-for-5 effort.
The series between the two schools continues on Friday night with a 5:30 p.m. contest weather permitting. The game will be carried live on http://www.ASun.TV