Feb. 25, 2006
On Saturday, February 25 the box score will show that Bisons' pitchers allowed fifteen runs in the 15-10 loss to the Kansas Jayhawks. It will read that in six innings Lipscomb starter Paul Piennette gave up six runs on seven hits. However, there are some pitching performances that can not be measured by a box score. And for five innings against the Jayhawks, Piennette was dominating, giving up just four hits and striking out nine.
The Bisons got on the board first in the second. Ryan Mitchell led off the inning with a double to center. Zac Miller followed with a single through the left side advancing Miller to third. Mitchell would score on an error by the Jayhawks second basemen Matt Berner.
The Bisons continued their scoring in the third. With one out Tadd Brewer singled up the middle. Nathan Sensing followed with a bunt single, advancing Brewer to second. Brewer would move to third on a throwing error by Jayhawks third basemen Erik Morrison. Brewer would score on a Mitchell RBI ground out bringing the score to 2-1. Another run would score on a single by Miller.
The Jayhawks would get on the board in the top of the fourth when Gus Milner scored on a single by Morrison.
Through five innings it appeared that sophomore Paul Piennette might earn his first win of the season. But a five run Kansas sixth ended both the Bisons lead and Piennette's day.
"I thought that Paul did wonderful," head coach Wynn Fletcher said. "He has developed his change up, which he threw in a lot of different counts to keep the hitters off balance. We thought that since Kansas was a good fast ball hitting team that Paul would match up well against them which he did."
Freshman Brandon McClurg came on in relief of Piennette to start the seventh. After allowing the first two batters to reach base, McClurg gave up a three run homer to Milner, to begin what would be the Jayhawks second consecutive five run inning.
Down 11-4, the Bisons began their comeback in the eighth inning. With one out Ryan Price walked, and was lifted for pinch runner Cody Morris. Justin Sanders came in the game to pinch hit for Reed and also received a walk. The next batter, Preston Embrey, drew the third consecutive walk of the inning. Brewer followed with a hard single to right scoring both Morris and Sanders. Sensing kept the scoring going with a three run homer to center field bringing the Bisons to within one. However after pinch hitter Eric Abend fouled out, Miller struck out looking to end the threat.
The Jayhawks tacked on four more in the top of the ninth to bring the score to 15-10 where it would remain.
"Our guys did fairly well," Fletcher said. "We need to collectively pitch better. Offensively we can do a lot of things. We have guys that can run the bases, drive the ball out of the park, and guys that get base hits. We have a lot of different options.
"You hate to go out and lose three in a row. But to lose to a team like Kansas, I am just impressed with the way our guys battled back. The thing we have to concern ourselves with now more than talent is our attitudes. We just have to do our job and keep our character up. We need to keep guys focused and we'll be fine."