KENNESAW, Ga. – With just over a handful of runners reaching base on Saturday afternoon, the Lipscomb baseball team failed to push across a run in a 4-0 Atlantic Sun Conference loss to Kennesaw State at Stillwell Stadium.
The second game of the three-game series saw KSU (20-20, 10-1 A-Sun) starter AJ Moore nearly go the distance, tossing 8.1 innings. The righty scattered six hits and struck out eight on 114 pitches.
“Kennesaw’s two starting pitchers have been really good this weekend, they both have held us down at the plate,” Lipscomb skipper Jeff Forehand said. “The concerning thing for us is that when we do get guys on base, we aren’t getting big hits.
“All we can do is try to get it worked out and corrected. Overall I am disappointed with the performance today because if you don’t score, you can’t win.”
Moore did not allow a Bison to move past second base all afternoon as he improved to 2-4 on the season.
Lipscomb’s (19-20, 3-5 A-Sun) left fielder Tevin Symonette had the biggest day at the plate for the Bisons, collecting two hits in three at-bats. He had the only extra-base hit of the afternoon with a double down the right field line in the second.
Lipscomb’s best scoring opportunities of the day came in the third and fourth innings, when the Purple and Gold had runners at first and second with no more than one out. Both occasions saw the Bisons go down in order from there.
The Owls, just like on Friday, jumped on Lipscomb starting pitching with all four of their runs coming in the first three frames on Saturday.
Lipscomb starter Jeffrey Passantino (5-3) allowed three earned runs through the first three frames, all coming with two outs, but eventually settled down to retire 11 of his final 14 batters faced.
“Jeff pitched well enough for us to win today,” Forehand said. “All four of their runs came with two outs, so shows you how close we were. It was a solid performance from him.”
The Fort Myers, Florida native tossed 7.0 frames while striking out seven and not issuing a walk. The righty did allow a career-high 10 hits on the afternoon.
Around the Horn:
- The 20 losses on the season match the total from all of 2015.
- Lipscomb is now 0-14 on the road this season.
- The Bisons have scored just one run in their last 20 innings of play and will enter Sunday having not scored in 15 consecutive frames.
- Five of the six base hits for the Bisons came off the bats of freshmen (Zeke Dodson, Cade Sorrells, Jackson Furstace and Symonette). The other was by a sophomore, Jeffrey Crisan.
- Passantino has now struck out at least seven batters in 5-of-10 games starts on the year. It also marked the fifth time he has not issued a free pass.
- He is now 0-2 in his last four outings after beginning the season 5-1.
Lipscomb will return to the diamond Sunday looking to salvage something from the series. Brady Puckett (6-2, 2.97 ERA) will get the ball when first pitch is thrown at noon.
“We have to execute and stick to our game plan tomorrow,” Forehand said. “In both games we have had to go way from our plan because we fell behind so early, 5-0 after two yesterday and then 4-0 after three today.
“Although getting behind changes our plan some, it doesn’t change the quality of our at-bats. We have to get our mojo and energy going again. That is surrounded by winning, which is something we aren’t doing right now. Maybe we can get back on track on Sunday.”