NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Missed opportunities were the theme of the day for the Bisons as the Lipscomb stranded 12 runners en route to a 3-2 loss to SIUE on Sunday afternoon at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium
“We left all of the opportunities out there today,” said Lipscomb head coach Jeff Forehand. “We left seven people on base in the first four innings. It wasn’t really the last inning that cost us, it was the opportunities we had before that.
“We’ve got to learn from it and move on. We just didn’t play our best baseball today. There are a lot of things we can learn from and build on for Tuesday.”
Just as they had done in the previous two games of the series, the Cougars (1-2) took the first lead in the contest plating two runs in the bottom of the second when Devin Caldwell launched a pitch inside the left field foul pole.
The 2-0 cushion lasted until the fourth inning for SIUE when the Bisons (2-1) managed to manufacture a run to make it a one-run game. Designated hitter Noah Chandler and shortstop Aaron Sandoval hit back-to-back singles to leadoff the inning before catcher Taylor Stewart put down a sacrifice to move both runners into scoring position.
That set the table for right fielder Lee Wilson, who grounded out to the right side allowing Chandler to come home from third.
The 2-1 score held until the sixth inning when Stewart laced a one-out ground-rule double to the left centerfield gap and then came home on a single to right by second baseman Austin Sistrunk.
A leadoff walk SIUE’s Matt Highland would prove to be key in the contest in the eighth inning as the third baseman moved to scoring position on a groundout to the pitcher and then scored on a two-out single to right by Caldwell.
Lipscomb would threaten in the ninth getting a runner into scoring position but Tony Schaeffer got out of the jam and earned the save for the Cougars. Jake Stauffenberg picked up the win on the hill for SIUE working four innings in relief.
Tyler Burstrom took the loss for the Bisons having given up the game-winning run in the eighth inning spoiling an otherwise solid effort. The veteran gave up the one earned run and one hit in four innings of work while walking a pair and fanning three.
Will Blalock started the game for Lipscomb going five innings and allowing three hits and the home run to Caldwell. Blalock also walked four and struck out two Cougars.
“Will was good and gave us a strong five innings,” said Forehand. “He left one pitch up and the guy hit it but other than that we can expect any more than just giving up two runs in five innings.”
Chandler and shortstop Aaron Sandoval led the Bisons offensively with each notching a pair of hits. First baseman Griffin Moore drew a trio of walks on the afternoon giving him eight free passes on the weekend.
The Bisons continue home action on Tuesday hosting Tennessee Tech at 4 p.m. at Dugan Field.