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2/16/2014 | Nashville, Tenn. | Attendance: 0
2/16/2014 | Nashville, Tenn. | Attendance: 462
Sunday, February 16, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A pair of late-inning collapses proved costly on Sunday afternoon at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium as the Lipscomb baseball team dropped a pair of contests 10-7 and 3-2 to Evansville.
“We had an opportunity to win two games today,” said Lipscomb head coach Jeff Forehand. “We took a one-run lead into the ninth in the first game and we don’t hold it and then the second game we don’t execute a couple of times and didn’t get a big hit when we needed a big hit.
“It’s disappointing but you have to give Evansville the credit. They made their plays when they had to and we didn’t. We have to correct some problems and move to the next one.”
Things looked good for the Bisons (0-3) early in the nightcap as Lipscomb scored a run in the first to take the early lead.
Junior centerfielder hitter Jonathan Allison got things rolling in the bottom of the first with a leadoff double to the left center gap and then came home to score later in the frame when junior left fielder Tyson Ashcraft lofted a sacrifice fly to right field to open the scoring.
Evansville countered with a leadoff double in the next half inning and that proved to be important as the Purple Aces (3-0) would tie the game at one before Lipscomb countered in the bottom of the third to retake the lead behind Ashcraft’s second home run of the day that cleared the Ken Dugan Field graphic in left center.
The score would hold 2-1 until the eighth inning when the Purple Aces drew back-to-back walks off freshman southpaw reliever John Pryor to start the frame. An error and another walk would be all Evansville would need to tie the contest before Ashcraft would take the hill from left field and get the Bisons out of the jam.
Evansville then got to Ashcraft in the ninth with a leadoff single by Jarod Perry that set the table for Kyle Pollock, who delivered a triple into the left center gap that proved to be the game winner.
Matt Rogers picked up the win on the hill for Evansville throwing the final three innings without allowing a run. Ashcraft took the loss giving up one earned run on two hits and a walk in the ninth.
The Bisons stranded 10 batters on base in game two of the day after leaving seven on in the first game of the day.
Five errors and 10 walks proved too much to overcome for the Bisons in the opener on Sunday afternoon.
The Purple Aces drew first blood in the contest as Evansville cashed in on a pair of Lipscomb errors to take the 2-0 lead in the second inning. The Bisons answered right back in the bottom of the frame to cut the lead in half when sophomore third baseman Austin Sistrunk brought junior first baseman Griffin Moore home on an RBI groundout.
Evansville would add a run in the top of the fourth before Lipscomb answered with a three-run frame to take the lead 4-3. A leadoff walk by Griffin Moore and a single up the middle by Ashcraft set the table for Josh Lee, who laced a double to bring Moore home and pull within a run of Evansville.
Sistrunk then drove in his second run of the contest with an infield single before junior shortstop Grant Massey walked to load the bases. Evansville then caught a break getting senior catcher Nick Rome to hit into a double play but Josh Lee was able to come across the dish to give the Bisons the 4-3 advantage.
The Purple Aces responded with single runs in the sixth and seventh innings to reclaim the lead but the Bisons answered right back with one in the seventh to knot the game at five on a single back up the middle by Moore that scored senior right fielder Drew Adams.
Lipscomb then retook the lead in the eighth when Ashcraft ledoff the frame with a home run to give the Bisons a slim 6-5 advantage. That cushion would not be near enough as Evansville erupted for five runs in the ninth behind three walks, two errors and one hit.
The Bisons picked up another run in the bottom of the ninth on a single through the right side by Moore scoring Adam Lee but it was too little too late.
Redshirt freshman Dalton Curtis took the loss for the Purple and Gold allowing three unearned runs and one walk.
Tyler Miller picked up the win for the Purple Aces throwing one and one-thirds innings of relief allowing one earned run. Sam Johns picked up the save allowing one unearned run in the ninth.
Moore, Ashcraft and Allison led the Bisons offensively on the day with Moore posting 4-for-6 day with three walks, two runs scored and two RBIs, while Ashcraft went 3-for-6 with the two home runs, three runs scored and three RBIs and Allison went 4-for-7 with two doubles, a pair of walks and a run scored.
“The team has put their heart and soul into preparation and they’re disappointed too when you think you have a great shot to win and you don’t,” said Forehand. “It’s hard to take, but we’ve got to get through it, play better and see what happens next time.”
A quick trip across town to take on top-10 foe Vanderbilt at Hawkins Field on Wednesday. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.