April 29, 2016123456789RHE
NJIT000000110261
Lipscomb03121013X11161
PitchingIPHRERBBSO
Win: PUCKETT (7-2) 7.0611210
Loss: LUBRESKI (4-6) 5.0117742
BattingABRHRBIBBHR
PIETRONICO (NJIT) 401110
UTTENDORFER (NJIT) 301010
BRADY (NJIT) 411010
MALATESTA (NJIT) 301000
BADARACO (NJIT) 111100
ANASTASIA (NJIT) 401000
LEE (LIP) 413120
HOOKER (LIP) 433010
WATSON (LIP) 423210
HANKS (LIP) 523402
April 29, 201612345678910RHE
NJIT302031100111160
Lipscomb300102004212222
PitchingIPHRERBBSO
Win: HWANG (1-1) 1.031110
Loss: SONDERGARD (0-1) 0.232220
BattingABRHRBIBBHR
UTTENDORFER (NJIT) 623000
HABERSTROH (NJIT) 523300
MALATESTA (NJIT) 613400
DODSON (LIP) 515400
April 30, 2016123456789RHE
NJIT13061000112131
Lipscomb003531010X22202
PitchingIPHRERBBSO
Win: WELLER (2-1) 5.042134
Loss: GIBBONS (0-1) 0.112220
BattingABRHRBIBBHR
PIETRONICO (NJIT) 423220
MALATESTA (NJIT) 513310
DODSON (LIP) 423310
HOOKER (LIP) 623300
HANKS (LIP) 443210
Baseball welcomes A-Sun newcomer NJIT for weekend series
Thursday, April 28, 2016
By Kirk Downs
Baseball welcomes A-Sun newcomer NJIT  for weekend series

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb baseball team welcomes Atlantic Sun Conference newcomer NJIT to the “Music City” this weekend for a three-game league series at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium.

All three games are slated to air on ESPN3 as the Bisons continue their debut season on the platform at home. There will also be live stats available throughout the entire series on LipscombSports.com.

Friday’s opener will represent the first-ever meeting between the two programs when the first pitch is thrown at 6 p.m.

Saturday’s contest is scheduled for a later start than usual at 6 p.m., due to the student’s exam period which begins this weekend. Sunday’s finale will also see a change in time, in order to accommodate NJIT’s return trip home, with first pitch slated for noon.

The Bisons (20-21, 4-5 A-Sun) are shaking things up this weekend in the rotation.

Sophomore Brady Puckett will get the ball on Friday. Since injecting the right hander into the weekend rotation midway through the season in 2015, Puckett has been the only Sunday starter for Lipscomb.

Sophomore Jeffrey Passantino will continue with his normal Saturday slot on the bump, while redshirt freshman Kyle Kemp will be making his first career start in the finale on Sunday.

Kemp, who missed all of 2015 with an injury, has seen action in 11 games this season as a relief pitcher.  The Port Charlotte, Florida native is coming off a career high four-inning appearance Sunday at Kennesaw State where he tossed a career best 7 1pitches, more than doubling his previous high.

 

Scouting NJIT:

The Highlanders, winners of three straight, invade Dugan Field with a 16-23 overall record and a 2-6 mark in conference play this season. NJIT opened A-Sun action earlier this month with wins over USC Upstate in its first two league games in program history before the series finale was canceled due to inclement weather.

Since those two victories, the Highlanders have dropped six straight conference tilts to Kennesaw State and Florida Gulf Coast.

Last weekend NJIT took a break from A-Sun action to play the New York Institute of Technology in home and home four-game series, with doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday. The teams split with the home squads winning each of their respective games.

The Highlanders then scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to knock off Saint Peter’s, 6-5, Tuesday in New Jersey.

Offensively NJIT is raking .258 as a team, which ranks seventh in the A-Sun. It has recorded a league low 173 runs and 313 hits, totaling 433 total bases.

The newcomers are led by a trio of everyday starters in Stephan Halibej (.308), Evan Pietronico (.295) and Jesse Uttendorfer (.290).

Uttendorfer paces the team with 45 hits, 28 runs and 12 stolen bases in 13 attempts. But he is also tops on the team and third in the conference with 43 strikeouts, 13 more than the next highest on the team.

Pietronico leads the way with 16 doubles, three home runs and 33 RBI. Halibej is second on the squad with 12 doubles, 2 homers and 18 RBI in 117 at-bats as the primary designated hitter.

The Highlander pitching staff boasts the fifth best team ERA in the A-Sun at 4.88 after giving up only 167 runs in 308 innings of play. NJIT ranks second in the conference having allowed just 343 hits.

NJIT’s scheduled weekend rotation has combined to go 9-11 this season with a 4.30 ERA after allowing 76 earned runs in 159 frames of work.

Friday starter Sean Lubreski (4-5, 4.30 ERA) and Saturday starter Ian Bentley (4-3, 4.30) are tied for tops on the team in wins and innings pitched (58.2).

Bentley has struck out a team high 54 batters.

Sunday’s scheduled starter Bryan Haberstroh (1-3, 4.32) will be making his ninth start of the campaign. He is allowing opponents to bat .242 this season.

Tommy Derer is the top man out of the bullpen. He has a team best 20 appearances while logging the only three saves of the season for the Highlanders.

NJIT posted a 24-23-1 overall mark in 2015, its second season without a conference affiliation. It was a member of the Great West Conference prior to 2014. 

 

Probable Starters:

Friday
Lipscomb - RHP – Brady Puckett
(6-2, 3.18 ERA, 70.2 IP, 25 ER, 65 K, 14 BB) 
NJIT - RHP – Sean Lubreski
(4-5, 4.30 ERA, 58.2 IP, 28 ER, 35 K, 18 BB)

Saturday
Lipscomb - RHP – Jeffrey Passantino
(5-3, 2.30 ERA, 70.1 IP, 18 ER, 61 K, 9 BB) 
NJIT - LHP – Ian Bentley
(4-3, 4.30 ERA, 58.2 IP, 28 ER, 54 K, 17 BB)

Sunday
Lipscomb - RHP – Kyle Kemp
(2-1, 4.70 ERA, 15.1 IP, 8 ER, 19 K, 10 BB) 
NJIT - RHP – Bryan Haberstroh
(1-3, 4.32 ERA, 41.2 IP, 20 ER, 33 K, 28 BB)

 

Around the Horn:

  • Lipscomb and NJIT have never met on the diamond.
  • Lipscomb is 19-7 at the friendly confines of Dugan Field this season. The all-time single season home win record is 23 set in the 2012 season (23-11).
  • The Bisons have been deadly on the base paths for the second year in a row, swiping a league-high 78 bases, ninth best in the NCAA.
  • Their thefts are the fourth-most in a single season in school history, just eight behind 2007’s 86 for third. The program leader is the 2010 squad who swiped 93.
  • In the nine conference games, the Bisons are batting .274 with 22 extra-base hits.
  • Lipscomb has allowed 39 earned runs through 84 innings of play, contributing to its 4.18 ERA.
  • The Purple and Gold have drawn 199 walks as a team, tops in the A-Sun and 24th best in the NCAA.
  • Lee Solomon has 22 stolen bases on the year, tops in the conference and tied for 18th most in the nation. Adam Lee is tied for second in the league with 15, while Michael Gigliotti’s 13 are fourth.
  • Solomon is tied with Ben Williams (’07) for the fourth most in a single season in school history. Tyler Wilson swiped a program record 40 in 2010.
  • Adam Lee leads the A-Sun with 45 RBI. That is good enough for 35th across the nation. He only had 38 in his first two seasons combined.
  • Adam Lee drew two walks Sunday at Kennesaw State to bring his career total to 78. He is now tied with Ryan Wilkins for the most career walks at Lipscomb.
  • Freshman Phenom Zeke Dodson smacked a RBI-triple in the 13th Sunday against the Owls to give the Bisons a lead. It was the third game-winning hit for Dodson in nine career A-Sun games. He also hit walk-offs in the final two games against USC Upstate earlier in April.
  • Dodson, who was batting .234 entering the A-Sun opener, has found his swing. The third baseman is hitting .316 in league play, which is second highest on the Bisons, with a team high 12 hits. Michael Gigliotti (.407) is the only one higher.
  • Big innings have been a large part of the success for the team in 2016 so far. 10 times this season the Bisons have posted five or more runs in a frame. Lipscomb has also scored four or more tallies in an inning 18 times so far.
  • Michael Gigliotti leads the A-Sun with 42 runs scored. His 1.11 runs per game rank 35th in the nation.
  • Lee Solomon and Adam Lee are tied for the A-Sun lead with 31 walks on the year, 56th They have four more free passes than anyone else in the conference. Gigliotti ranks fifth with 26.
  • Jeffrey Passantino has 61 strikeouts to just nine walks on the year, contributing to a 6.78 strikeout-to-walk ratio which ranks 3rd in the conference and 21st in the country.
  • Passantino’s WHIP (1.15) is second in the A-Sun and 23rd in the nation. He is also second in the league in innings pitched with 70.1.
  • His 2.30 ERA is second best in the league, while his five wins are tied for second.
  • Brady Puckett leads the A-Sun in wins (6) and innings pitched (70.2).
  • Puckett tied his career high with 11 punch outs Sunday against KSU. He now has 65 K on the year, which is second most in the A-Sun, only nine behind leader Tyler Jackson of Upstate.
  • Puckett and Passantino are tied for the A-Sun lead with two complete games apiece this season.
  • Lipscomb’s pitching staff is holding opponents to .268 at the plate; trailing Jacksonville (.254) and North Florida (.260).
  • With a 1-0 shutout against Western Michigan on February 28, Lipscomb skipper Jeff Forehand picked up win No. 250 in a Bison uniform.

 

Up Next:

Lipscomb will take a break from midweek action next week, but will return for a three-game Atlantic Sun set at North Florida on May 6-8.

For more information on the baseball program, continue to check LipscombSports.com for daily updates or follow @BisonBaseball on twitter.