CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Pitching woes proved to be the difference Tuesday night in the final road nonconference game of the season for the Lipscomb baseball team as the Bisons dropped an 11-8 decision to Austin Peay at Raymond C. Hand Park.
The loss leaves Lipscomb (19-18) still searching for its first road win of the season at 0-12 away from Dugan Field. With the win Austin Peay improves to 22-13 overall.
Lipscomb starter Alex Dorso lasted 2.2 innings allowing a career-high seven runs on five hits and three walks in 59 pitches. The freshman southpaw picked up his second loss of the season, falling to 1-2. Fellow freshman Adam Stewart came on in relief of Dorso in the third tossing one frame. The righty gave up three runs behind five hits and one free pass.
“Austin Peay is a good hitting team,” Lipscomb skipper Jeff Forehand said. “We score one in the first and then we give up multiple runs in three of the first four innings. We can’t do that. But they just outhit us from the beginning.
“They had more opportunities to score than we did, but when we had ours, we couldn’t capitalize. That is what hurt us tonight.”
Lipscomb took a 1-0 lead in the first inning as Michael Gigliotti led off the contest with a shot to the right centerfield gap for his 10th double of the campaign. He eventually came around to score on a ground ball from Zeke Dodson.
Austin Peay (22-13) got that run back and more in the bottom half of the first. After juicing the bases on a single and a couple of walks, junior outfielder Chase Hamilton launched a grand slam over the fence in right center to put the Govs on top 4-1.
The Bison offense got rolling in the third and recaptured the lead 5-4. Chucky Vazquez hit a frozen rope single that the APSU third baseman got a glove on to take away extra bases for the senior backstop. Vazquez advanced to second on a wild pitch before Gigliotti worked his way to a walk to put two men on base.
After the runners advanced a base on another wild pitch, they both would score on Adam Lee’s two-out RBI single through the left side. Freshman Zeke Dodson continued his torrid pace in the next at-bat as he blasted a 2-run shot for the second home run of his career.
With the momentum swinging in Lipscomb’s favor, the Governors managed to take control and once again regain the lead at 10-5, using seven hits to put up three-run frames in the third and fourth innings.
In the top of the fifth right fielder Allan Hooker added to Lipscomb’s run total with a sacrifice fly to right field plating Dodson, before Austin Peay responded with a run of its own in the bottom half.
Trailing 11-6 in the top of the seventh, Hooker drove in his second and third RBI of the night with a scorching double down the first base line. Lee and Dodson scored on the hit to cut the Govs lead to 11-8.
Lipscomb missed a good scoring opportunity in the eighth when it had runners at the corners and the Atlantic Sun’s leading RBI man in Adam Lee at the dish. The senior first baseman went down swinging for his second strikeout of the night.
Five Bison arms came on in relief behind Dorso and Stewart. They combined to throw the final 4.1 innings, giving up one run on three hits and four walks.
Offensively the Bisons were led by Dodson who tied career highs with three runs scored and three RBI after finishing 2-for-4.
“It’s exciting to see Zeke get going like he is," said Forehand. "He did a great job tonight. But it is also good to see Chucky coming along and starting to swing the bat.
“We are coming. I think there are positives to take from the game. We played a lot of young guys tonight and I think they are all learning some valuable lessons.”
Vazquez was 1-for-3 with a run scored and a walk. He now has hits in his last three games after laboring through a 1-for-44 slump.
Around the Horn:
- The 11 runs given up marks the fifth time this season that Lipscomb gave up double digit runs.
- The 4-run spot in the third inning was the 18th time this season the Bisons have scored four or more times.
- Gigliotti crossed the dish twice in the contest increasing his league-leading total to 42 on the year.
- Lee drove in two runs to add to his A-Sun leading total of 44.
- Dodson extended his career best hit streak to eight games on his home run in the third. It was his first homer since hitting a grand slam on Feb. 26 against Miami-Ohio.
- Vazquez became familiar with the leadoff spot. He was the leadoff batter for Lipscomb in the third, fourth, sixth and eighth innings.
- Gigliotti, Lee and Solomon combined to score 7 of the 8 runs for the Bisons.
- Von Watson recorded the final out of an inning five times Tuesday.
- Vazquez swiped his fourth stolen base of the season and the 11th of his career.
The Bisons will head back to the “Peach State” for their first A-Sun road series of the season to take on Kennesaw State this weekend in a three-game set. Friday’s opener is scheduled for a 5 p.m. first pitch.