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Western Kentucky (15-22)
4/18/2012 | Nashville, Tenn. | Attendance: 404
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
The Lipscomb baseball team did a lot of positive things, but all of that was negated by the final outcome.
Lipscomb’s pitchers combined for 17 strikeouts, a new school record. The Bisons outhit Western Kentucky 11 to two. But the Hilltoppers rallied for three runs in the ninth and added a solo run in the 10th to edge Lipscomb 4-3 Wednesday night at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium.
“The whole game is frustrating when we should close out a victory and we don’t do it,” Lipscomb head coach Jeff Forehand said after a lengthy post-game meeting with his team. “It was great that we set a record for strikeouts, but ultimately we didn’t win the game which is disappointing.”
The Bisons jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second when Ricky Coleman, who had singled up the middle, scored on an error by the third baseman for the Hilltoppers.
They added two more runs in the sixth. With one out Zak Messer singled to center. Zach Lowery followed with a double, the only extra base hit of the game, down the left field line scoring Messer. With two outs Coleman singled to send Lowery home.
On the mound Lipscomb’s pitchers were one inning away from combining for a no-hitter, which would have been the first for Western Kentucky since May 6, 2003.
Right-hander Will Blalock started for the Bisons, striking out eight and walking five in five innings. In four of those five innings the first batter for the Hilltoppers reached base on a walk.
Next on the mound for the Bisons was right-hander Hunter Brothers who struck out all six batters he faced. Left-hander Gil Rehwinkel pitched the eighth inning and struck out two. He was followed in the ninth by lefty Chris Nunn who lasted only two batters. He gave up two runs, one earned. Right-hander Tyler Burstrom entered the game and earned the record-breaking strikeout, but also gave up a run.
Right-hander Dannie Strable threw the 10th inning. He gave up a single to center to Jared Andreoli to start the inning. Andreoli eventually scored on a wild pitch, giving Strable the loss.
“We have to be able to close out games better,” Forehand said. “A walk, a timely hit and a passed ball put them right back in the game. It’s tough to take especially when you no-hit them for eight innings and strike out 17 and don’t come up with a victory.
“We did a lot of things that were pretty good. But it doesn’t matter what we did.”
Western Kentucky used four pitchers with Taylor Haydel earning the win. The Hilltoppers, from the Sun Belt Conference are 15-22. The Hilltoppers have won the last six meetings between the two teams.
“We just have to stay positive and try to encourage them,” Forehand said. “They saw what happened. They are as disappointed as I am.”
It was the third loss in a row for the Bisons, 17-10, who head to Stetson for a key three-game Atlantic Sun series Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Deland, Fla. The trip should be a quiet one as the team reflects on the loss to the Hilltoppers.
“Mid-week games can carry over into the weekend,” Forehand said. “It is how you can get yourself going for the weekend. Anytime you get a win and get some momentum it carries over.”
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.