JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The bats could never get going for the Lipscomb baseball team Friday night as the Bisons dropped the second game of the series 2-1 to ASUN leader Jacksonville at Sessions Stadium.
Facing the 2015 ASUN Pitcher of the Year in JU’s Michael Baumann, the Bisons had a hard time finding a way on base. The first 14 batters of the game for Lipscomb were retired before Baumann issued three consecutive two-out walks in the fifth stanza. Facing the only scoring opportunity of the night for Lipscomb, junior shortstop Blake Thomas went down swinging to end the threat.
“I love baseball, but this game will really frustrate you,” Lipscomb skipper Jeff Forehand said. “Both team pitched really well today, but it just so happens that Jacksonville was a little better.
“We knew it would be a tough challenge facing Baumann and that’s exactly what why we only had two hits. I thought we hit the ball hard at times, but unfortunately they were just right at someone.”
The only run of the night for the Bisons came on a Hunter Hanks long ball in the top of the seventh. It was his fourth home run of the season, all coming against ASUN opponents.
“Hunter is really seeing the ball well right now,” Forehand said. “His home run was a big hit for us, actually it was the only hit we got off Baumann and it pulled us to within striking distance.
“If he can keep producing like he has the last month or so, he will really help our offense down the stretch. We just have to get the other guys going around him.”
From that point on, the only other base runner Lipscomb could muster was a two-out single from Michael Gigliotti in the top of the eighth.
Like on Thursday, the Dolphins went on the attack early, getting to Dayton Tripp for a run in the first on a leadoff double and a RBI single two batters later.
Jacksonville scored its only other run in the fourth frame on back-to-back base hits from Ruben Someillan and Dakota Julylia.
Tripp took the loss for Lipscomb, falling to 3-3 on the season. He lasted four innings and gave up two runs on seven hits. Kyle Kemp entered in relief and pitched the remainder of the game. The redshirt sophomore struck out four batters and only allowed base hit.
“Dayton and Kyle both pitched really, really well and they put us in a position to win the game,” Forehand said. “Dayton gave up some hits early but I thought he did a good job of limiting the damage by getting some timely outs.
“Kemp did what he was supposed to do, come in and shut them down. We just couldn’t get enough runs to get the win.”
Baumann improved to 2-3 for Jacksonville after working seven complete frames where he allowed only one run on one hits and three walks. He struck out six.
The loss moves Lipscomb to 17-16 overall and 3-5 in league play, while JU improved to 21-16 with is ninth straight victory. The Dolphins are now 7-1 in the ASUN.
AROUND THE HORN:
- With the loss the Bisons have now dropped eight of their last 11 contests.
- The 3-5 start in conference play matches the start Lipscomb had last season before finishing 12-9.
- Gigliotti and Hanks extended their team best on-base streaks to nine games.
- Lipscomb has now recorded two or fewer hits in five contests this season.
- The Bisons left four men on base. The Dolphins left eight.
- Jake Perry, Tevin Symonette and Tyler Bethune drew the only walks of the night for Lipscomb.
- The nine-game win streak is the longest in over a decade for Jacksonville.
Lipscomb and Jacksonville wrap up the series Saturday at 11 a.m. Brady Puckett (4-3, 4.28 ERA) will make the start for the Bisons and will matchup with Casey Kulina (2-0, 2.66 ERA) for JU.
“It’s so important to get a win, whether it’s Friday, Saturday or Sunday,” Forehand said. “I can’t take anything away from our pitchers the last two days, they pitched their butts off, but unfortunately Jacksonville’s pitching has been better than our batters.
“We have to find a way to get on the winning end of these one-run ballgames.”