NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Looking for a three-game sweep on Sunday, the Lipscomb baseball team was held in check dropping a 2-0 Atlantic Sun Conference decision to Mercer at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium.
“There wasn’t a whole lot of offense today and I think both pitchers had a great deal to do with it,” said Lipscomb head coach Jeff Forehand. “With the windy conditions and balls hanging up, pretty much anything in the air was going to get knocked down for an out.
“Both pitchers pitched great and we can’t fault Denton (Norman) for what he did. He just didn’t get any runs. When you don’t get any runs, everybody knows what happens.”
The Bears (28-10, 11-4) got a complete-game. two-hit shutout performance from junior Eric Nyquist and halted Lipscomb’s six-game win streak. Norman was just as sharp, working eight innings while allowing just three hits.
“Nyquist was locating three pitches for strikes and was up, down, in and out when he needed to be,” said Forehand. “We just weren’t getting good swings off on him but I think he had a lot to do with that. I tip my cap to him. He pitched a really good game.
“It’s unfortunate for Denton that we couldn’t help the cause a little more because it could have been just the opposite if we’d been able to get a run early on. “
It marked first time this season the Bisons were held scoreless. The loss dropped the Purple and Gold to 24-13 overall and 12-3 in league play but Lipscomb still sits atop the A-Sun standings.
The first run of the game did not come until the sixth inning when the Bears used small ball to get on the scoreboard. A leadoff single by Kyle Lewis got things started before he moved into scoring position on a Sasha Lagarde sacrifice bunt.
A Micheal Massi single to left put runners on the corners for Chesney Young, who pushed a perfect safety squeeze bunt down the baseline for the game’s first run scoring Lewis.
Norman worked into the ninth inning, but a leadoff walk was enough for Forehand to lift the sophomore for redhshirt senior reliever Jacob Knott. The veteran retired the first batter he faced and then got a potential double-play ball but a miscue saw the ball roll into the outfield.
Back-to-back, two-out walks would then prove costly as Young trotted across the plate giving Mercer the 2-0 lead.
Norman (5-2) took the loss after working eight innings and giving up a lone earned run. He recorded four punch outs and four walks.
Nyquist retired the last 17 batters of the game to stay perfect on the season at 6-0. The righty struck out six and walked just one, the first batter of the game.
Austin Sistrunk and Adam Lee recorded the only hits for Lipscomb on Sunday.
“For competitors, everybody wants to win every game,” said Forehand. “We came in and got the series but everybody likes to sweep. We had the opportunity with runners on early in the game and didn’t get any production but at the end of the day we won the series. “
Lipscomb returns to action on Tuesday at 6 p.m. when Belmont visits Dugan Field.