CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Unable to push runs across when it mattered, the Lipscomb baseball team dropped a tough 3-1 non-conference decision to homestanding Austin Peay on Tuesday night at Raymond C. Hand Park in Clarksville.
Things looked good for the Bisons (22-26) early on as Lipscomb plated a run right out of the gate on Austin Peay (29-18) starter Andy Cox, who got into trouble by beaning senior left fielder M.L. Williams and junior centerfielder Zach Lowery. That set the table for freshman first baseman Griffin Moore and the rookie delivered with a single up the middle that plated Williams making it a 1-0 game.
“We out hit them,” said Lipscomb head coach Jeff Forehand. “We got eight hits, they got seven but they got a couple of hits in the clutch that we didn’t get. We struck out 11 times. It’s evident we didn’t do enough on offense tonight.
“We did pitch it well. We’ll hang our hat on that. We’ve just got to have some more quality at bats when we’ve got runners on base like we had in the first three innings. We can’t look at the last play at the plate and say that was the one that cost us.”
After sending the Governors down in order in the first, Lipscomb junior starter Tyler Burstrom ran into trouble to start the second. A pair of doubles, a single and a groundout led to a pair of runs and that would be all the offense Austin Peay would need.
The Bisons threatened to tie the game in the eighth but a bang-bang play at the plate went against the Purple and Gold ending the inning. After drawing a two-out base hit, Lowery took off on a hit-and-run and Moore ripped a line drive into the right center field gap. Running hard from the get go, Lowery got the green light coming around third. A strong throw made a close play at the plate and Lowery was called out as his hand reached the plate.
The Governors then added an insurance run in the eighth as leadoff man Michael Blanchard singled up the middle to open the frame and then moved up to second on a wild pitch. A sacrifice bunt moved Blanchard up to third and he scored easily on a bloop single by Jordan Hankins.
Cox picked up the win on the hill for Austin Peay to improve to 3-1 on the year. The righty tossed five innings allowing one earned run, five hits and no walks. Burstrom took the loss to fall to 1-1 allowing two earned runs and three hits in two innings of work.
Moore led the Bisons offensively with a 3-for-4 night at the dish as Lipscomb outhit Austin Peay 8-7.
The Bisons return home this weekend for a three-game Atlantic Sun Conference series against Jacksonville. The series gets underway Friday night at 6 p.m. at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium against the Dolphins.