Feb. 26, 2006
After watching his teammates give up 44 runs in the last three games, right hander Matt Schnelly did on Sunday February 26, what no Bisons' starting pitcher has been able to do this season. He shut the opposition down. Schnelly dominated a talented Pittsburgh lineup, on his way to a three hit complete game shutout in the Bisons 4-0 win.
Panthers shortstop Jimmy Mayer led off the game with a single, but was quickly erased from the base paths when he was thrown out trying to steal second. He would be the last Panthers base runner until Jeff Stevens was hit by a pitch in the fifth.
Meanwhile, the Bisons scored their first run of the game in the second inning. Ryan Mitchell led off with a single through the right side. Zac Miller followed with a walk. The runners advanced to second and third on a passed ball. The next batter, Caleb Joseph hit a fly ball to right just deep enough to score Mitchell, and advance Miller to third. One out later Miller scored on a wild pitch to give the Bisons a 2-0 lead.
The Bisons tacked on another run in the third. With two outs, Tadd Brewer walked and would scored on a bunt single by Nathan Sensing that resulted in a throwing error by the Panthers catcher.
Lipscomb would add one final run in the sixth. Nathan Sensing led off the inning with a single and would later score on a fielding error by the Panthers third basemen Don Williams.
But the star of the game was Schnelly a 6'6" Junior from West Palm, Florida. Schnelly struck out eleven while facing just four batters over the minimum.
"Today, what Schnelly did against Pittsburgh, he became the intimidator on the field," head coach Wynn Fletcher said. "We needed a lift and he gave it to us. It was one of the better pitching performances that I have had as a coach. It really established a lot of confidence in the team playing behind him."
Schnelly is now 1-0 with a team leading 1.32 ERA. In 13.2 innings he has given up seven hits and two earned runs. He has walked four and struck out 13. Opponents are batting just .159 against him.
The win brings the Bisons record to 2-4, and breaks a three game losing streak, during which the opposing team scored in double figures for three consecutive games.
"I told the guys before the game, `As down as you might feel like you are, you have to come out and play, because it might be your day,'" Fletcher said. "And they did."
The Bisons are back in action on Tuesday, February 28 when they take on Tennessee Tech at Ken Dugan Field.