NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb baseball team scored six times in the bottom of the third inning to take its first lead of the game, but was unable to hold off a Belmont rally as the Bruins countered with three unanswered runs the rest of the way to knock off the homestanding Bisons 9-7 Tuesday night at Ken Dugan Field.
After Belmont (20-19) grabbed an early 4-0 lead in the opening stanza on a Hunter Holland grand slam, the Bruins then pushed its lead to 6-1 in the third before Lipscomb’s offense finally woke up.
“It’s always tough when you go down early, but I thought our guys handled that well and came through when we needed them the most,” Lipscomb skipper Jeff Forehand said. “But we continued to put ourselves in bad spots and that caught up with us in the latter innings.
“You just can’t continue to bail yourself out of those jams time and time again. We can’t keep doing that. We have to get it fixed.”
The Bisons (20-18) touched Belmont for six runs in the bottom of the third to take a 7-6 lead, while only managing two hits.
Lipscomb struck with home runs from Hunter Hanks and Jake Perry, before working three Bruins for four walks, a hit by pitch and a fielder’s choice.
Belmont answered with two runs in the fifth and another in the eighth while keeping the Bisons off the board the rest of the night to win the only Battle of the Boulevard meeting in 2017.
Nicko Ortega got the nod for Lipscomb and only lasted 2.1 innings after Belmont chased the junior with six runs on seven hits.
Dallas Gibson took the loss after facing only three batters on the night, but he put the tying and go-ahead runs on the base paths before exiting the tilt. He allowed two runs in a third of an inning and fell to 1-1.
AROUND THE HORN:
- In the Division I era, Belmont leads the all-time series 30-18. The Bruins have won the last three meetings.
- Hanks and Michael Gigliotti extended their on-base streaks to 14 games, while Gigliotti also pushed his hitting streak to 10 straight.
- Perry, 2-of-4, was the only Bison to record multiple base knocks in the loss. He also drove in a team high two runs. He is tops on the squad with six home runs and 33 RBI this season.
- Hanks blasted his fifth long ball of the season.
- Gigliotti and Tyler Bethune recorded the only other RBI on the night for Lipscomb.
- The Bisons used eight different arms out of the pen (Adam Stewart, Ryan Stevens, Alex Dorso, Dalton Curtis, Kyle Kemp, John Pryor, Ortega and Gibson).
- Lipscomb left 10 men on base while Belmont left 15.
- Game time was 3:50 in front of 337 in attendance.
- Jackson Furstace made his fifth start of the season at shortstop. The sophomore was 0-for-1, but scored a run and drew a team high two walks. He only had three walks all season entering the contest.
- Cade Sorrells scored a team best two runs. He finished 1-for-4 with a walk and a team best seven putouts.
Lipscomb returns to ASUN Conference action this weekend when the defending league champion, Kennesaw State, visits Music City for three games. Friday’s opener at Dugan Field is for a 6 p.m. first pitch.