April 05, 2013123456789RHE
USC Upstate000002120590
Win: LEE (5-3) 8.073316
Loss: BURSTROM (2-2) 2.042221
GREER (UPST) 412010
MILLER (UPST) 412200
ADAMS (LIP) 412000
STEWART (LIP) 402100
Bisons unable to hang on to lead against USC Upstate
Friday, April 5, 2013
Bisons unable to hang on to lead against USC Upstate

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Giving up five runs in the final four innings of action, the Lipscomb baseball team dropped a 5-3 Atlantic Sun Conference decision to USC Upstate on Friday night at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium in Nashville.

“Four of Upstate’s five runs tonight are what we call ‘freebies’,” said Lipscomb head coach Jeff Forehand. “Two hit batters scored, a walk scored and an error scored.  Those things came back to haunt us and cost us a great start by (Josh) Cotham.”

The Bisons (10-21, 2-5 A-Sun) got on the board early with a two-run second inning that opened the scoring in the contest against the Spartans (18-11, 5-5 A-Sun). Sophomore first baseman Tyson Ashcraft opened the frame with a leadoff single through the left side before senior centerfielder Zach Lowery walked.

A perfect sacrifice bunt by redshirt freshman second baseman Noah Chandler moved both runners into scoring position setting the table for senior catcher Taylor Stewart, who delivered his 18th RBI of the season as Ashcraft scored easily from third.  Junior left fielder Chad Shannon then followed with a single of his own to plate Lowery as LU took the 2-0 lead.

Lipscomb pushed the lead to 3-0 in the fifth inning behind a pair of singles and a perfectly executed squeeze.  Junior right fielder Drew Adams reached on an infield single before moving up to third when senior designated hitter Lee Wilson singled to right. Senior third baseman Aaron Sandoval then put down a great sacrifice bunt allowing Adams to score from third.

The three-run cushion would not be enough however as the Spartan offense woke up in the sixth inning thanks to a pair of hit-by-pitch and a walk.  A wild pitch would end the shutout bid for the Bisons in the frame before USC Upstate added a second run on an infield single.

Lipscomb miscues would lead to the Spartans tying the game in the next stanza as an error and two walks followed by another wild pitch knotted the game 3-3.

Another base-on-balls would prove to be costly in the eighth as Brody Greer drew a free pass and the scored one batter later when Tyler Miller tripled to left centerfield. Miller would then score on a sacrifice fly to round out the scoring in the contest.

Lipscomb would get the tying run to the plate in the ninth as Chandler drew a one-out walk but ended up being doubled off first when Stewart hit a ball deep into the right centerfield gap that Upstate’s Gaither Bumgardner tracked down and fired to first for the double play.

The Bisons got a solid start out of Cotham, who made his first start since March 8.  The Mt. Juliet native tossed 5.1 innings allowing four hits, two earned runs and a pair of walks while fanning eight Spartans.

Brandon Lee earned the win on the hill for USC Upstate giving up three runs, seven hits and a walk in eight innings of work.  Lee also notched six strikeouts before Chad Sobotka came on to work the ninth earning his fifth save of the season.

The three-game series continues on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Dugan Field.