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Bisons drop series opener to Florida Gulf Coast
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Bisons drop series opener to Florida Gulf Coast
Florida Gulf Coast outscored the Bisons six runs to one over the final five innings to earn a 9-5 victory over Lipscomb at Swanson Stadium on Thursday night in Ft. Myers.

The Bisons had opportunities late in the game to cut into the Eagles lead but the Bisons left a total of seven runners on base in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings alone.

Lipscomb left 10 runners on base for the game, marking the second straight game they have stranded 10 or more runners on base. In the last three games, the Bisons have left 32 runners on base.

FGCU (25-28, 14-14 A-Sun) jumped out to an early 3-0 lead after scoring three runs on four hits in the bottom of the second inning.

The Bisons (19-34, 10-18 A-Sun) countered the Eagles three-run second inning with four runs in the top of the third to grab a 4-3 lead. The Bisons registered five two-out hits to score four runs after the first two batters of the inning struck out. M.L. Williams started the third-inning two-out rally with a single before advancing to second on Ricky Coleman’s single to center.

Richie Goodenow then drew an eight-pitch walk to load the bases for the Bisons clean-up hitter, Josh Chism. Chism, who leads the team in runs batted in, came through once again with a two-run double to the gap in left-center, cutting the Eagles lead to 3-2. Tennyson Dodd then laced a two-run single to right-center to score Goodenow and Chism giving the Bisons a 4-3 lead.

FGCU retook the lead in the bottom of the fourth with two runs on two hits off Lipscomb starter Connor Sinclair to take a slim 5-4 lead.

The Eagles extended its lead in the bottom of the fifth with three straight hits to start inning, including a double by FGCU’s Mike Reeves to take a 6-4 lead. Following the three straight hits by the Eagles, Sinclair limited the Eagles to just one run that inning by retiring the next three batters he faced and leaving runners on second and third.

Trailing 6-4, the Bisons recorded three straight one-out singles in the top of the sixth to cut the Eagles lead to one at 6-5. Lee Wilson and Bennett Smith collected singles before Kyle Henry drove in Wilson with a single of his own.

FGCU added two more runs in the bottom of the seventh and one more in the eighth to take a four-run lead at 9-5 to close out game one of the final regular season A-Sun series.

Smith, Wilson, Dodd and Williams all had two hits to pace the Bisons offensively. Dodd and Chism drove in two runs each while Kyle Henry drove in the fifth and final run.

With Goodenow’s first-inning single, he extended his streak of reaching base to 22 straight games, the longest of the season for any Bison.

Sinclair allowed a season-high eight runs, seven of which were earned on a season-high 12 hits in six-plus innings Thursday. The right-hander struck out seven and walked three while facing 33 batters in a 120-pitch outing.

Chad Fromm made his team leading 24th appearance of the year on Thursday, allowing one run on one hit in one inning of relief.

Senior Alex Ross and junior Gil Rehwinkel also made short stints out of the bullpen Thursday, combining to throw one-inning of relief.

Game two of the three game series between the Bisons and Eagles will get underway tomorrow at Swanson Stadium at 3 p.m. central.

Lipscomb will send left-hander Blake Fonfara (2-3, 5.19 ERA) to the mound while FGCU will counter with right-hander Ricky Knapp (5-1, 4.80 ERA).

Fans can follow Live Stats and watch the final two games of the 2011 regular season on A-Sun TV.