|April 21, 2017||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|Win: PASSANTINO (2-1)||6.0||5||2||2||1||7|
|Loss: SONDERGARD (0-5)||0.1||4||6||6||2||1|
|April 22, 2017||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|Win: PRYOR (2-1)||1.0||2||1||1||1||1|
|Loss: JONES (0-1)||0.1||2||5||5||2||0|
|April 23, 2017||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|Win: PUCKETT (5-4)||6.1||9||3||1||2||4|
|Loss: GIBBONS (0-2)||1.1||4||5||4||4||0|
NEWARK, N.J. – The Lipscomb Bisons return to ASUN Conference baseball action this weekend when they travel north to The Garden State for the first time in program history where they will take on the NJIT Highlanders in three games at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium.
The series opener is set for 5 p.m. Friday and will be followed by a noon start on Saturday before wrapping the weekend with an 11 a.m. first pitch on Sunday.
Lipscomb (17-17, 3-6 ASUN) will have its first chance at washing the bad taste out of its mouth after getting swept by Jacksonville over Easter weekend. The series marked the first sweep in league play for Lipscomb since 2014.
There will be a paid video stream on Saturday and Sunday and live stats will be available for all three games. Only Saturday's video broadcast will carry audio.
Lipscomb – RHP - Jeffrey Passantino (1-1, 3.20 ERA, 59.0 IP, 21 ER, 58 K, 6 BB)
NJIT – LHP – Brian Sondergard (0-4, 7.14 ERA, 29.0 IP, 23 ER, 14 K, 16 BB)
Lipscomb – RHP – Dayton Tripp (3-3, 6.31 ERA, 35.2 IP, 25 ER, 21 K, 12 BB)
NJIT – RHP – Tyler Stafflinger (1-4, 3.77 ERA, 28.2 IP, 12 ER, 25 K, 10 BB)
Lipscomb – RHP – Brady Puckett (4-4, 4.45 ERA, 60.2 IP, 30 ER, 45 K, 13 BB)
NJIT – TBD
The Highlanders enter the weekend fresh off a 17-1 drubbing of Saint Peter’s in their midweek. The victory halted a 15-game losing skid and improved NJIT to just 4-28 overall this season. NJIT is winless (0-9) in conference action after suffering sweeps to Stetson, North Florida and Jacksonville.
NJIT is batting .245 at the plate with 65 extra-base hits, 134 runs, 115 walks and 32 stolen bases.
Michael Anastasia leads the team with a .318 batting clip, 18 walks and 21 RBI. Alex Burman (.310) is the only other Highlander batting over the 300-mark.
Evan Pietronico is among one of the nation’s toughest players to strike out. In just 120 at-bats he has gone down on strikes just 10 times.
The Highlanders pitching staff carries the ASUN’s worst ERA at 7.61. They are allowing opponents to bat .320 while striking out 166 batters in 260.1 innings of work.
Saturday’s starter, Tyler Stafflinger, is the only player with an ERA under 4.00. The righty is 1-4 with a 3.77 ERA and has started a team high seven games. He has 25 punchouts in 28.2 innings.
AROUND THE HORN:
- Lipscomb and NJIT met for the first time ever last season at Dugan Field, with the Bisons taking all three matchups.
- In the series finale against the Highlanders in 2016, the Bisons set a program mark by hanging 22 runs on the board.
- Lipscomb is 12-9 at home and 5-7 on the road this season.
- With 174 free passes, the Bisons rank 33rd in the country. Michael Gigliotti is second in the ASUN and 14th across Division I with 31.
- The Bisons have been deadly on the base paths this season, swiping a conference-leading 50 bags – the 36thmost in the country. Gigliotti and Lee Solomon are tied for second in the ASUN with 14 steals apiece.
- Gigliotti and Hunter Hanks have reached base in 10 straight games entering the weekend. Gigliotti’s six-game hit streak is currently the longest on the squad.
- Jeffrey Passantino’s 9.67 strikeout-to-walk ratio and 0.92 walks allowed per nine innings are the ninth best totals in the country. He has 58 strikeouts to only six walks.
- Solomon is sixth in the ASUN with 10 doubles.
- Zeke Dodson has hits in 16 of his last 18 games, including a career best 12-game hitting streak that came to an end against North Florida. He leads the team with 40 hits, 57 total bases and 10 multi-hit games this season. His .305 average only trails Hanks.
- Lipscomb ranks fourth in the ASUN with 17 home runs. Perry (4), Hanks (4), Sorrells (2) and Dodson (2) are the top long ball threats for the Bisons. Nine different players have gone deep this season.
- Gigliotti ranks fifth in the ASUN with 31 runs scored in 2017. He is third all-time in Lipscomb’s NCAA era having crossed the dish 137 times. M.L. Williams (09-12) is the leader at 163.
- John Pryor is tied for fifth in the ASUN with 19 appearances on the year, just four behind the leader.
- Denton Norman has made 18 appearances out of the pen to post a team-high four saves, which is fourth in the ASUN. The senior righty also has three wins to his name in a bounce back year after missing all of 2016 with injury.
- Hanks will try to continue his ASUN power surge. After not hitting a homer all season, Hanks has launched four in league play, including at least one in every ASUN series.
- In league play, Hanks tops the ASUN in homers (4), slugging percentage (.806), RBI (16), and total bases (29).
- It has been a tale of two seasons for Gigliotti. After batting .188 in nonconference contests (11th best average on the team), he is leading the club with a .389 clip in ASUN play where he has 14 hits in 36 at-bats.
Lipscomb returns to Nashville for its longest home stand of the season – eight games. The Bisons will get the stretch started Tuesday April 25 with a 6 p.m. contest against Belmont. The meeting between the rivals will be the first of the season after the tilt on March 14 was canceled because of weather.
Lipscomb will then host Kennesaw State for three games next weekend.