May 18, 2017123456789RHE
Stetson200000000243
Lipscomb00000201X341
PitchingIPHRERBBSO
Win: PASSANTINO (4-2) 8.042208
Loss: Brooks Wilson (4-6) 8.043227
BattingABRHRBIBBHR
Jacob Koos (STET) 411000
Austin Hale (STET) 311211
Colton Lightner (STET) 301000
Ben Rowdon (STET) 301000
GIGLIOTTI (LIP) 311010
SOLOMON (LIP) 411000
SORRELLS (LIP) 211000
DODSON (LIP) 401100
May 19, 2017123456789RHE
Stetson0201010206110
Lipscomb000100020390
PitchingIPHRERBBSO
Win: Jack Perkins (7-4) 8.083316
Loss: PUCKETT (7-6) 7.084414
BattingABRHRBIBBHR
Jack Gonzalez (STET) 423000
GIGLIOTTI (LIP) 422000
SOLOMON (LIP) 412100
DODSON (LIP) 302110
May 20, 201712345678RHE
Stetson01100020490
Lipscomb00100000152
PitchingIPHRERBBSO
Win: Logan Gilbert (10-0) 7.051117
Loss: TRIPP (3-4) 6.062245
BattingABRHRBIBBHR
Andrew MacNeil (STET) 512000
Mike Spooner (STET) 312110
THOMAS (LIP) 302000
Baseball looks to ruin Stetson's championship quest
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
By Kirk Downs
Baseball looks to ruin Stetson's championship quest

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - On the final weekend of the 2017 season for Lipscomb baseball, the Bisons will host the Stetson Hatters in an all-important three-game ASUN Conference series at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium.

All three games will have live stats and are slated to air on ESPN3 with Justin Seamon and Eric House on the call.

Thursday’s first pitch is set for 6 p.m. between the Bisons (26-24, 8-10 ASUN) and the Hatters (25-26, 13-5). The series continues on Friday at 6 p.m. before wrapping up on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Lipscomb will be looking to right the ship after dropping its last five contests, including a 3-2 defeat in extra innings to Austin Peay Tuesday afternoon at Dugan Field.

Having already locked up a spot in next week’s championship, the preseason ASUN favorite Bisons are currently sitting in the No. 6 seed – two games behind fifth-seeded FGCU - with the potential to climb no higher than fourth.


SCOUTING STETSON:

Although Stetson brings a modest 25-26 overall record to the Music City, the Hatters have championship aspirations riding on this final weekend of the season. They are 13-5 in league play and are just one game behind Jacksonville, with whom they hold the tiebreaker, in the race for the regular season championship and the No. 1 seed in next week’s tournament.

The Green and White are winners of nine of their last 11 contests, including a season high five straight entering the weekend. They have won five of their six ASUN series – the only loss coming to Kennesaw State – and are fresh off a three-game sweep of North Florida last weekend.

The biggest factor behind Stetson’s success has been the pitching staff, where there are three potential Pitcher of the Year candidates. The Hatters lead the league in opposing batting average (.246), fewest hits allowed (424), strikeouts (498) and the fewest home runs given up (22). Their 3.76 ERA and 233 runs allowed are second best.

The staff also boasts the top three strikeout arms. Thursday night starter Brooks Wilson leads the league with 115 strikeouts, but has also issued a conference high 35 walks in 93.1 innings of work.

Friday’s hurler Jack Perkins is second on the list with 101 punch outs in 90.1 innings.

Perhaps the ace of the staff is Logan Gilbert, who will get the nod on Saturday. The sophomore right-hander just won his second ASUN Pitcher of the Week honor after a complete-game performance against North Florida.

Entering the weekend, Gilbert is undefeated and leads the ASUN in wins (9), is second in ERA (1.75) and third in strikeouts (96). In conference action, he was been even more dominant, leading the league in wins (5), ERA (0.89), strikeouts (47) and earned runs allowed (4). His .196 opponent batting average ranks second.

With one more victory, Gilbert would be the first Hatter hurler to eclipse the 10-win mark in a season since current Cleveland Indians ace Corey Kluber had 12 in 2007.

Offensively Stetson is batting .274, which is just one point ahead of Lipscomb for sixth in the conference. Once on the base paths, the Hatters are deadly with 57 stolen bases, the second highest total in the ASUN – 51 swipes behind Lipscomb.

Sophomore outfielder Jacob Koos leads the offensive attack with a .338 clip. He is second in the league in stolen bases (23), third in runs (49), fourth in plate appearances (243) and fifth in his (70).

Mike Spooner (.302) and Jack Gonzalez (.301) are the other top hitters on the team. Spooner has five home runs and leads the team and ranks third in the conference with 42 RBI. Gonzalez has registered a team high six of the Hatters’ 26 long balls this season.


PROBABLE STARTERS:

Thursday
Lipscomb – RHP - Jeffrey Passantino:
(3-2, 3.00 ERA, 84.0 IP, 28 ER, 85 K, 9 BB)
Stetson – RHP – Brooks Wilson:
(4-5, 2.70 ERA, 93.1 IP, 28 ER, 115 K, 35 BB)

Friday
Lipscomb – RHP – Brady Puckett:
(7-5, 3.78 ERA, 88.0 IP, 37 ER, 62 K, 20 BB)
Stetson – RHP – Jack Perkins:
(6-4, 2.69 ERA, 90.1 IP, 27 ER, 101 K, 29 BB)

Saturday
Lipscomb – RHP – Denton Norman:
(4-4, 2.25 ERA, 44.0 IP, 11 ER, 39 K, 14 BB)
Stetson – RHP – Logan Gilbert:
(9-0, 1.75 ERA, 77.1 IP, 15 ER, 96 K, 22 BB)


AROUND THE HORN:

  • The Bisons and Hatters have met 43 times on the diamond since 2004 with Stetson holding a 25-17 advantage. However, Lipscomb has won five of the last six meetings, including all four a season ago.
  • Lipscomb has taken a mixed approach at the plate this season drawing 273 walks and striking out 407 times – both lead the ASUN. The walk total is the ninth most in the nation.
  • With every stolen base, the Bisons are continuing to add to their program record. They are the first time in Lipscomb history to eclipse the 100-mark. They enter the weekend as the fifth best steals team in the country with 108. The 2.16 swipes per game is also the fifth best average.
  • Even with the low team batting average (.272), the Bisons lead the ASUN and rank 56th in the country with a .381 on-base percentage, thanks in large part to their walks.
  • Michael Gigliotti has a chance at breaking three different career records against the Hatters. He is currently second all-time with 160 runs (163), 105 walks (106), and 63 stolen bases (65).
  • Gigliotti enters Thursday riding a 26 game on-base streak. During the stretch he is leading the team with a .340 average and a .504 on-base percentage.
  • Hunter Hanks has taken over the rank as the Bisons top power threat. The senior second baseman is tied for third in the ASUN with a career high eight home runs and second in slugging percentage at .556. In league action he leads all players with 25 RBI and is tied at the top with six long balls.
  • Jeffrey Passantino continues to fill the strike zone. The junior has 85 strikeouts to just nine walks on the season, giving him a 9.44 strikeout to walk ratio that ranks fifth nationally. His 0.96 walks per nine innings is seventh best.
  • Cade Sorrells is second among all ASUN sophomores in RBI (41) and on-base percentage (.441).
  • Gigliotti’s 31 steals are ranked fourth in the NCAA and are the second most in a single season in program history.
  • Gigliotti’s 49 free passes are fifth best in the NCAA.



UP NEXT:

After wrapping up the series with Stetson in Nashville, the Bisons will quickly turn around and make the journey to DeLand, Florida – the hometown of the Hatters – for the 2017 ASUN Baseball Championship where the league’s top six teams will compete in a double-elimination format over four days at Melching Field.

Though the field is set for the championship, positioning is in full swing as no team has yet to lock in a seed.  The tournament will run from Wednesday, May 24 to Saturday, May 26 – weather permitting.