NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb baseball team dropped a 5-1 decision to Stetson in the series opener of a three-game Atlantic Sun Conference series Friday night at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium.
“I am really disappointed we got beat tonight, but you have to tip your hat to Stetson’s guy, he pitched really well,” Lipscomb coach Jeff Forehand said. “We didn’t help him though by leaving men on base a couple of different times. Now we have to put it behind us and move on.”
With its senior ace Ian Martinez-McGraw on the hill, Lipscomb (31-16, 9-7 A-Sun) fell behind 4-0 after the first two frames and its offense could never catch up.
The Bisons missed a couple of key scoring opportunities in the game. In the bottom of the first Michael Gigliotti and Grant Massey reached on back-to-back singles before both moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt from Jonathan Allison. The scoring threat was stalled however by a strike out and a line out to end the frame.
Later in the fourth, redshirt freshman Allan Hooker looked to finally jump start Lipscomb’s offense with a leadoff triple to deep center field. That would be as far as he would get as the next three batters went down in order, failing to bring Hooker home.
The Bisons’ lone run of the night came in the bottom of the sixth when senior Tyson Ashcraft ripped a one-out double down the left field line. Two batters later, sophomore Hunter Hanks hit an infield single to the shortstop to allow Ashcraft to cross the dish.
Stetson (25-26, 9-7 A-Sun) relied on the arm of sophomore hurler Mitchell Jordan. The righty tossed a complete game in what was the longest outing of his career. Jordan surrendered eight hits and one run and did not allow a base runner in the final three innings. He struck out five and did not issue a walk while improving to 5-2 on the year.
Martinez-McGraw settled down nicely after the first two innings and exited the game with six complete frames of work. He allowed five runs on eight hits with four strike outs and two walks. The loss dropped the knuckleballer to 6-3.
“We just have to execute like we’ve been doing all year,” Forehand said. “The reason we have won as many games as we have is because we pride ourselves in executing and tonight we didn’t. Ian wasn’t his best, but he pitched well enough to win. We can’t expect him to come out and shut every opponent out, our offense has to execute and tonight it didn’t.
“We have to chalk this one up, tip your hats to Stetson and come back tomorrow and execute.”
Another highlight from the day was senior Jonathan Allison taking home the 2015 Dugan Award. In a brief ceremony before the game, the Dugan family presented the left fielder with the prestigious award in front of his family, teammates, coaching staff and fans in attendance.
Around the Horn:
- Lipscomb has now dropped 14 of its last 16 meetings to Stetson, including six straight.
- The Hatters outhit the Bisons 10-8.
- Hooker was the lone Bison to record multiple hits (2-for-3). It was his 12th multi-hit game of the year.
- Gigliotti extended his on-base streak to 20 games.
The Bisons and Hatters will return to action Saturday at 2 p.m. before Sunday’s 1 p.m. finale.