|April 12, 2016||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|Win: KLOTZ (3-2)||3.0||0||0||0||2||1|
|Loss: DORSO (1-1)||4.1||4||1||1||1||2|
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Lipscomb baseball team fell behind rival Belmont early in Tuesday’s midweek tilt, ultimately resulting in a 5-3 loss to the Bruins at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium.
Senior right hander Kyle Weller struggled to throw strikes in the first inning, tossing 18 balls on 27 pitches, leading to three walks and a hit batter. The Bruins used that to their advantage and jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first. Freshman Alex Dorso relieved Weller after two outs and got the Bisons out of a bases loaded jam.
“The whole rythym of the game changes when you get the first guy out and then you allow your opponent to bat through the order,” Lipscomb skipper Jeff Forehand said. “Kyle is hurting right now because he hates that he didn’t get us off to a good start, but regardless of whoever is on the mound, we as a team can’t get off to that kind of start and put our offense in the position we did.
“Offensively we did come back and tie things up, but we also left plenty of opportunities out there. We just can’t continue to put ourselves in a hole early and expect to climb out of it every time. It can’t happen.”
Freshman Zeke Dodson picked up right where he left off after winning the Atlantic Sun Player of the Week award on Monday. Dodson, who had walk-off hits Saturday and Sunday, lined a single up the middle to drive in Lee Solomon and Michael Gigliotti in the bottom of the third. Tevin Symonette then sent a sacrifice fly to right field to plate Adam Lee and knot the game at 3-3.
“We moved Zeke up into the four-hole because he is a contact guy, where some of the others are more power hitters,” Forehand said. “He has been making solid contact as of late and limiting his strikeouts more than some other guys and when you do that RBIs are a by-product.
“He seems to be getting more comfortable and we need that from him moving forward.”
Belmont regained the lead in the fifth when Tyler Fullerton drilled an RBI double over the head of Allan Hooker in right field. The Bruins added another run on a single by Chas Hadden in the sixth to extend their advantage to 5-3.
Lipscomb had difficulties at the plate against the Bruins, managing just five hits. The Bisons had ample opportunities to add to their run total but left seven runners on base.
Dorso, who took his first career loss, went 4.1 innings and gave up just one run. Junior lefty John Pryor relieved Dorso in the sixth and pitched 3.1 innings while giving up one unearned run and striking out three batters. Dallas Gibson induced a double play for the final two outs in the ninth.
“I thought our bullpen did a great job, they all pitched well,” Forehand said. “Dorso came in there and slowed the pace of the game, just like he did against Vanderbilt. He limited Belmont’s hitters and allowed us to get back in the game. I challenged each of our guys to come in out of the pen and throw strikes and not walk anybody. For the most part, that is what they did and I was glad to see that.”
Around the Horn:
- Belmont leads the series with Lipscomb 29-18 in the Division 1 era. The Bruins swept the season series this year with Tuesday’s win and a 23-6 victory on March 18that Rose Park.
- The Bisons drew four walks on Tuesday to increase their season total to 175.
- Gigliotti led off with a single for the fourth game in a row. After a recent slump, the speedy outfielder is 8-for-18 in his last five games. He has also reached base in 31-of-33 games this season.
- Chucky Vazquez threw out a Bruin runner in the seventh. The senior catcher has thrown out 37% (10-27) of runners this season.
- No Lipscomb batter managed more than one hit and the team collectively hit .172 (5-29).
- Miscues also plagued Lipscomb on Tuesday as the Bisons committed three errors in the field.
- Lipscomb’s bullpen had an impressive showing in relief of Weller. Dorso, Pryor, and Gibson combined to go 8.2 innings and gave up just two runs while striking out five.
Lipscomb will host the Jacksonville Dolphins this weekend for a three-game conference series. Game one is set for 6:00 p.m. on Friday night at Dugan Field.