OXFORD, Miss. – The Lipscomb baseball team got the tying run to the plate with no outs in the top of the ninth but failed to draw even in an 8-5 loss to No. 7 Ole Miss on Saturday afternoon at Swayze Field in Oxford, Miss.
“We put ourselves in a bad situation again with walks and errors turning into runs,” said Lipscomb head coach Jeff Forehand. “But we did fight back and it’s encouraging to see that seventh-inning comeback and then the ninth with us getting the tying run to the plate. Ultimately, we’ve got to get better in the middle of the game.”
The Rebels (15-1) wasted no time getting on the scoreboard with a two-run first inning. Ole Miss then cashed in on a costly defensive miscue in the third to add three more. Lipscomb (6-9) had a chance to get out of a bases-loaded jam with a double play but the throw to turn the pitcher’s best friend was dropped and the Rebels made Lipscomb pay with a three-run frame.
“You cannot miss chances against a team like Ole Miss,” said Forehand. “We had the opportunity to turn a couple of double plays and we didn’t do it. We had an out at the plate and we didn’t get it. Hackett made a couple of good pitches in there and got us some ground balls but we just didn’t close the inning out.
“That’s the one thing I hope we take away from this game is that we have to be more efficient. When we do, we’re going to be in good shape.”
Ole Miss tacked on a pair of runs in the fifth and one in the sixth before the Lipscomb bats awoke in the seventh inning as the Rebels went to the bullpen bringing in Austin Blunt. Lipscomb junior left fielder Drew Adams got the rally started with a leadoff single through the left side before an Aaron Sandoval hit-by-pitch and a Zach Lowery walk loaded the bases.
That set the table for senior catcher Taylor Stewart and the veteran delivered with a single to the right centerfield gap that scored Adams and Sandoval easily. Sophomore second baseman Noah Chandler kept the momentum going with a single up the middle allowing Lowery to score from third and moving Stewart 90 feet from the plate. The Bisons then got back-to-back singles by senior right fielder Lee Wilson and sophomore shortstop Joey Cecere to plate Stewart and Chandler before Aaron Greenwood came on as the third pitcher of the inning for Ole Miss and ended the rally.
Stewart and Chandler would put the Bisons in a chance to tie in the ninth as Stewart reached on an infield hit before Chandler drew an 8-pitch walk. That would be as close to a comeback as the Bisons would come however as Ole Miss closer Brett Huber worked out of the jam by sending two Lipscomb batters down looking and getting a groundout to notch his fifth save of the season.
Lipscomb senior righty Davey Hackett (1-3) took the loss on the mound tossing five and one-thirds innings. The veteran allowed eight hits, four walks and six earned runs. The Bisons bullpen held the game in check after Hackett’s departure as redshirt freshman Geordie Carlson worked two thirds of an inning before sophomore Tyson Ashcraft worked two scoreless innings.
Mike Mayers stymied the Lipscomb offense for the first six innings to earn the win. Mayers allowed one hit and one walk while fanning seven.
The two teams wrap up the series on Sunday at noon at Swayze field. The contest was originally slated for 1:30 p.m. but was moved up earlier on Saturday due to the weather forecast for Sunday afternoon.