NASHVILLE, Tenn.- A rally in ninth came too little, too late for the Lipscomb baseball team and Florida Gulf Coast defeated the Bisons 7-4 to win the Atlantic Sun conference series. Tyler Selesky’s three-run home run off the scoreboard in the sixth proved to be the difference.
Although Lipscomb had 11 hits, they were unable to muster much else in the way of offense. Lipscomb left eight runners on base, including two in the ninth inning.
"This was a disappointing weekend after a great victory on Friday night," Lipscomb skipper Jeff Forehand said. “We laid an egg yesterday and I thought we would come back and play better than we did today.
“It was a solid game other than a few mistakes here and there. The disappointing part is when you feel like you played well in some areas and not well enough in others. We have to give the credit to FGCU though, they are a good ball team.”
Redshirt freshman Kyle Kemp got his third start of the season and produced the longest outing of his career by going 5.2 innings. Unfortunately, Kemp was charged with six runs on six hits, while also walking three and hitting three others.
FGCU scored two runs in the second inning and tacked on another run in the fourth inning to take a 3-0 advantage. Jake Smith provided the big hit in the second, a two-RBI double down the left field line.
Lipscomb answered in the bottom of the fifth when Lee Solomon tripled down the right field line. Chucky Vazquez, who reached on a single, and Michael Gigliotti, who reached on a walk, both scored on Solomon’s hit to cut FGCU’s advantage to 3-2.
Selesky continued to gives the Bisons problems after a four-hit, six-RBI performance on Saturday. Two pitches after freshman lefty Alex Dorso came on in relief of Kemp in the sixth, Selesky drilled his three-run home run off the scoreboard in right field. That gave the Eagles a 7-2 lead.
The Bisons attempted a comeback in the bottom of the ninth. Von Watson led off the inning with a ground rule double that hopped over the 400-foot sign in center field. Watson advanced to third on a ground out by Vazquez and scored on an RBI ground out from Hunter Hanks.
Gigliotti kept the game alive with a triple and then Solomon brought him home with a single to right field. Zeke Dodson grounded out to second base to end the game.
“Seeing the guys not lay down in the ninth was definitely a positive,” Forehand said. “We had opportunities in several innings and the mental mistakes put us behind an eight ball more than what shows up in the box score.
“That’s baseball and we’ll be back and ready to play again on Tuesday.”
Senior reliever Kyle Weller was stellar in relief of Dorso. The right-hander went 3.1 scoreless innings and struck out five FGCU batters.
FGCU's Kenton Hering got the win on the mound, going five innings and surrendering two runs while striking out seven Lipscomb hitters.
Around the Horn:
- Lipscomb continued its streak of double-digit hit performances with 11 base knocks on Sunday. The streak now stands at 12 consecutive games if 10 or more hits. On Friday, the Bisons reached 10 consecutive games of 10 or more hits, setting a new record in the team’s NCAA Division 1 era.
- Solomon continued his recent hot streak by going 3-for-5 with 3 RBI. The sophomore second baseman is 26-of-55 (.473) with 11 RBI in his last 12 games.
- Watson tied a career high with 3 hits. The freshman from Potts Camp, Mississippi is 13-for-32 (.406) in his last nine games with eight RBI.
- Gigliotti's triple was his third of the season, matching his total from 2015. Solomon picked up his second three-bagger.
- Lipscomb hitters struck out 10 times on Sunday. Hanks and Tevin Symonette each struck out twice.
- All seven of FGCU's runs came with two outs.
- The Bisons did not help their cause by committing three errors.
Lipscomb will play its final regular season home game on Tuesday when the Austin Peay Governors pay a visit to Dugan Field. The Bisons lost to the Govs on April 19th by a score of 11-8 in Clarksville. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.