NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb baseball team dropped the opening game of a pivotal ASUN Conference series with North Florida 11-1 Friday night at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium.
“This is not the way you want to start off any series,” Lipscomb skipper Jeff Forehand said. “We got off to a rough start and then we tried to turn it around a little bit, but we couldn’t capitalize when we had runners on base.
“I thought if we could get a big hit or two that it might help our guys settle down, but that never materialized. Tough way to start the weekend, but we will try and bounce back tomorrow.”
The Ospreys (21-12, 3-1 ASUN) pushed a pair of runs across in the top of the first off Lipscomb starter Brady Puckett with back-to-back leadoff doubles and a RBI single from Chris Berry.
Trailing by three runs in the bottom of the fifth, the Bisons found their way on the board when the hot-hitting Hunter Hanks blasted his second long ball of the season over the fence in left center to make it 3-1.
Lipscomb had its chances throughout the game after putting runners on base in seven different innings, but those chances never came to fruition as the Bisons finished just 1-for-11 (.091) with runners in scoring position.
The biggest threat of the night came in the bottom of the seventh when the UNF hurlers walked the bases loaded with one out. The Ospreys went to their All-Conference closer Matthew Naylor and the righthander got Lee Solomon to pop up in the infield and Cade Sorrells, the Bisons second-leading run producer, put up a battle before eventually going down on strikes.
After scoring runs in the seventh and eighth innings, North Florida put the game out of reach with a 6-run frame in the top of the ninth.
Puckett fell to 4-3 with the loss after surrendering five runs on nine hits in seven innings of work. He struck out five, but also hit a school record six batters in the box after not hitting a single player all season entering the contest.
UNF’s Austin Drury improved to 5-2. He worked six frames and gave up just one run on five hits. He struck out six Bisons.
AROUND THE HORN:
- Lipscomb left 10 men on base, while UNF left 11.
- Zeke Dodson went 0-for-4 and ended both his hitting and on-base streaks.
- Solomon Hanks each collected a team high two hits.
- John Pryor, Ryan Stevens and Alex Dorso all saw time out of the bullpen.
- Lipscomb was just 3-of-17 (.176) with runners on base. UNF was 7-of-22 (.318).
- The Bisons committed two miscues to the Ospreys none.
- Lipscomb has now given up 10+ runs in five of its last seven contests.
- On the Bisons three-game losing skid they have been outscored 37-9.
- Solomon swiped two bases to bring his season total to 12, tying Gigliotti for the league's lead.
Lipscomb and UNF will get back on the diamond at 2 p.m. Saturday. Jeffrey Passantino (1-0, 2.38 ERA) will get the ball for the Bisons and will match up with UNF’s Frank German (5-0, 1.73 ERA). The game can be seen on Facebook Live.