FORT MYERS, Fla. – Another late-inning rally sinks the Lipscomb baseball team as Florida Gulf Coast scored four times in the eighth inning to capture a 9-6 victory over the Bisons Saturday afternoon at Swanson Stadium.
Things looked good early on for the Purple and Gold as Michael Gigliotti led off the game with a solo home run in the top of the first, his second long ball of the season.
Lipscomb (26-22, 8-9 ASUN) held the lead until the third frame when FGCU (33-16, 9-8) used a Nick Rivera double, and back-to-back singles to plate a trio of runs and take a 3-1 lead.
The Bisons struck back in the top of the fourth to tie the game at 3-3.
Following a leadoff single and a one-out walk, sophomore outfielder Von Watson and junior catcher Jeffrey Crisan strung together back-to-back RBI singles through the left side, scoring both Zeke Dodson and Lee Solomon.
In the bottom of the frame, Florida Gulf Coast scored twice to grab a 5-3 lead. The Eagles would have control the rest of the game.
Lipscomb cut into the lead with a run in the eighth as Watson drove home his team-high second RBI of the afternoon.
The Eagles then put the game out of reach in the home half of the stanza after touching the Bisons bullpen for four runs on three hits, including a leadoff home run, and three walks.
Lipscomb mounted one last rally in the final inning, scoring twice on a RBI single from Cade Sorrells and a ground out from Hunter Hanks, but that would be all the Bisons could get across.
Junior right-hander Brady Puckett took the loss, falling to 7-5 on the season. The 6-foot-9 hurler worked seven innings, giving up six runs (four earned) on 10 hits. He also struck out three and walked three.
Relievers Alex Dorso and Dallas Gibson tossed the eighth inning. Dorso only recorded one out, while surrendering three runs on one hit and three walks. Gibson got out of the inning with two punch outs.
AROUND THE HORN:
- With the loss, Lipscomb fell to sixth in the league standings, one game behind both FGCU and Kennesaw State.
- The first-inning homer from Gigliotti broke a career long 42-game homerless streak. His only other dinger this season came on February 25 against Missouri State.
- Gigliotti did extend his on-base streak to 24 games, while Hanks (0-for-5) lost his at 23.
- Dodson led the Bisons with a 3-for-5 afternoon. He also scored two runs.
- Watson paced Lipscomb with a game-high two RBI on a 2-for-4 day.
- Five players recorded multiple-hit games as Gigliotti, Solomon and Crisan joined Dodson and Watson.
- Solomon added his team-leading 15th double of the season.
- Gigliotti swiped his ASUN-leading 29th stolen base of the season in the third. That was the 100th bag of the year for the Bisons, marking the first time they have ever reached the triple-digit plateau in a season.
The Bisons and Eagles will close the series with a 6 p.m. contest later this afternoon. Denton Norman will get the ball looking to salvage the weekend for Lipscomb.