NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Entering a game that featured two of the top offenses in the country, the Lipscomb baseball team mustered just three hits dropping a 4-1 nonconference matchup with Tennessee Tech Friday night at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium.
“That was a good baseball game tonight,” Lipscomb head coach Jeff Forehand said. “You have to tip your hat to Tennessee Tech’s pitcher. He came in and did a great job tonight. We were able to get a run in the seventh and had a chance to at least tie it up, but we couldn’t come through. I told the guys we played a good game, but Tennessee Tech just got a couple more breaks than we did. We will just have to come back tomorrow and try to even this series up.”
For all the talk about the two potent offenses, it was the pitchers who shined bright Friday night. Lipscomb’s Ian Martinez-McGraw and TTU’s David Hess got into a pitcher’s duel, throwing up zeroes on the scoreboard through the first five innings.
However, Tennessee Tech (35-12) got things going in the sixth when first baseman Zach Stephens roped a one-out double down the left field line. That set the table for the nation’s second-leading home run hitter Brandon Thomasson. Staring at a 0-1 count, the right fielder blasted a two-run shot on top of the batting cage just past the left field fence to give the Golden Eagles a 2-0 lead.
“Thomasson really showed his strength on that home run,” Forehand said. “He took a 0-1 changeup on his front leg and smoked it over the fence.”
Lipscomb (26-20) senior right fielder Drew Adams led off the seventh with a single. Junior left fielder Josh Lee pushed Adams to second with a ground out to third. Adams moved to third on a wild pitch before sophomore third baseman Austin Sistrunk drew a five-pitch walk to put runners on the corners for the Bisons. In his first at-bat of the night, designated hitter Griffin Moore looped a pitch just over the pitcher’s head to plate Adams and cut the Golden Eagles lead to 2-1.
“Griffin has been solid all year facing a left hander,” Forehand said. “I thought he could handle the guy’s breaking ball and fortunately he was able to knock that run in for us.”
Tech wasted little time plating two more runs in the eighth. Anthony El Chibani sent a 3-2 fastball over the 400-foot sign in center field for a solo home run. After getting plunked to reach base, Thomasson advanced to third on an errant pickoff attempt by Martinez-McGraw.
Shortstop Dylan Bosheers worked the count full before singling up the middle to plate Thomasson for the game’s final run.
Martinez-McGraw took the loss and dropped to 7-2 on his junior campaign. The knuckleballer worked eight innings, giving up nine hits and three earned runs. He struck out four and walked just one.
“Anytime we get that kind of starting pitching like we got tonight from Martinez-McGraw we are going to be in good shape,” Forehand said. “He gives us a chance every time we go out on Friday. He threw a great game, but Tech’s guy was just a little better.”
Hess improved to 8-2 on the mound after throwing six innings and giving up just two hits. He recorded 10 punch outs without allowing a walk.
Stanton Taylor came in and worked the final three innings to record his first save of the season for the Golden Eagles.
“We have to come back tomorrow and get our offense back on track,” Forehand said.
Lipscomb and Tennessee Tech will play game two of the series at 6 p.m. Saturday night following a brief ceremony for the Bison seniors at 5:30 p.m.