DALLAS – The Lipscomb baseball team fell behind early against Dallas Baptist and could never recover as the Patriots went on to take a 10-3 decision in the series opener Friday night at Horner Ballpark.
With the win DBU improves to 16-9, while Lipscomb falls to 16-10.
"We didn't play well tonight," said Lipscomb skipper Jeff Forehand. "We made a mistake in the third on a ground ball and we let it compound and cost us some runs. Now we just have to move on to tomorrow."
After struggling at the plate the last three weeks, sophomore Michael Gigliotti got his groove back. The center fielder tied his career high with four base knocks. He finished 4-for-4 with two bunt singles, two doubles and two RBI.
"My goal tonight was to take tough pitches and swing at the good ones," Gigliotti said. "I wanted to try and bunt some tonight and put pressure on them to make the plays. I was able to get that first one down and that opened up the field for me a little bit in my next at-bat."
His only blemish was when he got caught stealing in the first.
"Mike had a great game," Forehand said. "He has been struggling lately and he needed this one. He worked hard for his hits too. Not just him, but all of our guys grinded hard at the plate. We got pitched pretty good and coming in we knew it was going to be that kind of game. Unfortunately for us we weren't able to come out on top."
Outside of Gigliotti, the offense did not do much else to help their cause. Just three players in total recorded hits while the DBU pitching staff combined to strike out 12.
Dallas Baptist jumped out on top first with a four-run third inning, led by Trooper Reynolds’ 2-RBI single up the middle. A mishandled ball from junior shortstop Hunter Hanks allowed DBU’s first run to cross on what was a potential double-play ball. The Patriots went on to collect four hits in the frame.
After drawing a couple of walks and stranding both Bison runners on the base paths in the top of the fourth, DBU extended its lead to 7-0 with a 2-RBI triple from right fielder David Martinelli and a RBI double from left fielder Austin List.
The top of the seventh saw Lipscomb finally get on the board. Sophomore left fielder Tevin Symonette reached on a one-out walk to get the ball rolling. Freshman designated hitter Von Watson then smashed a double over the right fielder’s head in the gap, allowing Symonette to score from first to make it 7-1.
DBU responded with two runs of its own in the bottom of the stanza. Camden Duzenack knocked in a run on an infield single before Justin Wall drew a bases-loaded walk to give the Patriots a 9-1 advantage.
Junior hurler John Pryor made his third start of the season on the bump. The southpaw threw 3.1 innings where he gave up six earned runs on five hits and three walks. He dropped to 0-3 with the defeat.
Senior Kyle Weller entered in relief in the fourth, making his ninth appearance of 2016. He lasted 3.2 stanzas where he two runs on two hits. Weller struck out three and issued a career high four walks.
DBU’s Colin Poche stayed perfect on the season and moved to 4-0. The University of Arkansas transplant scattered two hits and did not allow a run over six innings of work. He struck out a career high seven batters and walked three.
Around the Horn:
- DBU takes a 1-0 lead in the all-time series.
- Lipscomb is still left searching for its first road win of the year, falling to 0-8.
- Gigliotti picked up with his 11th and 12th bunt singles of the season. He also recorded his sixth double.
- Gigliotti now has 16 RBI on the year.
- Watson’s seventh-inning double was his team-leading ninth of the year. He has now doubled in three straight tilts.
- Adam Lee and Lee Solomon each drew their Atlantic Sun Conference leading 24th free pass.
- Solomon finished the night 0-for-4 with a career high four strikeouts.
- Senior southpaw Geordie Carlson made his fourth appearance of the season. He pitched the eighth and struck out the side. His three punch outs were more than he had all season combined.
Lipscomb and DBU continue the three-game series at Horner Ballpark Saturday with the first pitch set for 2 p.m. Sophomore right hander Jeffrey Passantino (5-1, 2.57 ERA) will toe the rubber for the Bisons and will match up with junior righty Darick Hall (3-2, 2.55 ERA).
"Tomorrow we have to continue playing like we have been this season," Gigliotti said. "As a defense we need to keep runners off base. If they don't score they can't win.
"I thought we swung the bat pretty good tonight, we hit some balls hard and they got caught up in the wind. We just have to continue doing more of the same and come out tomorrow and even this series."