NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Despite a ninth-inning rally that saw four runs cross the plate, the Lipscomb baseball team dropped a12-7 non-conference decision to Austin Peay on Tuesday night at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium in Nashville.
The Bison (7-14) cooked up what Lipscomb head coach Jeff Forehand iterated was not a formula for success against the Governors (11-9) by stranding 12 runners on base, issuing eight walks and committing five costly errors.
A pair of errors led to a big inning for Austin Peay in the second as the Governors pushed across six unearned runs in the frame off of freshman right-hander Will Blalock (0-1). Among the damage done in the stanza was a grand slam from Jordan Hankins.
“Anytime you give up a big frame like that, it’s hard to bounce back,” said Forehand. “I’m proud of how we fought back. We could have just rolled over and let it go. We just got ourselves behind the eight ball early.
“We’re still going in the right direction. We had 15 hits. We just didn’t get any big hits with runners on base.
The Governors again used the long ball in the third to put another pair of runs on the board when Cody Hudson followed up one of the eight free passes with a two-run blast on an 0-2 pitch to make it an 8-0 lead.
The Bison would get the bats going in the third inning as senior designated hitter Shawn Mehring and junior right fielder Lee Wilson led off the frame with back-to-back singles. Mehring would come in to score on a double-play ball to get the Bison on the scoreboard. With the bases cleared, senior second baseman Zak Messer doubled down the left before freshman first baseman Griffin Moore notched an infield single that put runners on the corners.
That set the table for junior centerfielder Zach Lowery, who ripped a triple to the track in right field allowing both runs to score and the Bison to cut the deficit to 8-3.
Austin Peay starter Casey Delgado (3-2) settled in from that point and the Bison would not get on the scoreboard again until the ninth inning after the Govs added a pair of insurance runs in the sixth and two more in the ninth.
After Delgado left after six strong innings, Zane Leffew and Chuck Edlin both held Lipscomb off the scoreboard until Kacy Kemmer came on to start the ninth. Lipscomb senior left fielder M.L. Williams got the rally going for the Bison as he turned on an inside pitch and launched it over the right field wall with one away to make it a 12-4 contest.
Messer then reached on an infield single ahead of Moore, who drew a four-pitch walk. Lowery then seized another opportunity plating both Messer and Moore with a double to the left field gap to cap off a 4 RBI night. A single to centerfield by junior shortstop Aaron Sandoval kept things going before junior third baseman Gray Hutchinson was plunked to load the bases.
Lowery would then come home on the next at bat when senior catcher Logan Hostettler reached on a fielder’s choice but that would end the scoring for the Bison on the evening.
Blalock took the loss for Lipscomb allowing six unearned runs and six hits in two innings of work. Delgado allowed 10 hits but just three runs in his six innings of work to notch the win.
The Bison continue home action this weekend welcoming Mercer for the first home Atlantic Sun Conference series of the season. The three-game set gets underway Friday night at 6 p.m. followed by a 2 p.m. contest on Saturday and a 1 p.m. contest on Sunday.