May 18, 2017123456789RHE
Win: PASSANTINO (4-2) 8.042208
Loss: Brooks Wilson (4-6) 8.043227
Jacob Koos (STET) 411000
Austin Hale (STET) 311211
Colton Lightner (STET) 301000
Ben Rowdon (STET) 301000
SOLOMON (LIP) 411000
DODSON (LIP) 401100
Passantino outduels Stetson in series opener
Thursday, May 18, 2017
By Russell Vannozzi
Passantino outduels Stetson in series opener

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In the midst of an all-out pitcher’s duel, the Lipscomb baseball team gave Jeffery Passantino just enough run support to come from behind and knock off the Stetson Hatters, 3-2, in an important ASUN Conference match Thursday night at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium.

Lipscomb (27-24, 9-10 ASUN) scored a pair of runs in the sixth inning and took the lead in the eighth when Lee Solomon scored on a wild pitch. Senior Denton Norman closed the game out in the top of the ninth for his sixth save of the season.

“This was such a great team win,” Lipscomb skipper Jeff Forehand said. “We had phenomenal pitching, great defensive plays and clutch hitting. I am just so proud of our guys for coming out ready to play tonight after having lost the last five games.

“When you lose five games in a row, you start doubting yourself, but hopefully this game can get us some momentum and we can get a couple more.”

Passantino tossed eight dominant innings where he gave up just two runs while scattering four hits and punching out eight Stetson batters. The junior regained his composure after giving up a 2-run home run to Austin Hale on the fourth pitch of the night in the bottom of the first inning to retire 13 of the next 14 Hatters. In fact, he only allowed two more base runners all night - a single base knock in the second and fifth frames.

“Jeffrey pitched a great game for us tonight,” Forehand said. “He matched Stetson’s guys (Brooks Wilson) pitch for pitch after giving up the early runs.

“I told Jeff after the game that I have seen him pitch a lot of good games here, but that may have been the best one yet.”

Passantino improved to 4-2 and lowered his season ERA to 2.93.  

Stetson (25-26, 13-6 ASUN) starting pitcher Brooks Wilson took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning, but Michael Giglotti’s leadoff double ended Wilson’s hopes of the rare feat. The right-hander finished with his fourth complete game of the season and gave up two earned runs while taking the hard-luck loss. Wilson fanned seven Bisons to add to his league-leading total of 122. 

Lipscomb finally got on the board in the sixth when Zeke Dodson drove in Gigliotti on a ground out. Later in the frame, Jake Perry reached on an error by the shortstop, which allowed Cade Sorrells to score and knot the score at 2-2.

In the bottom of the eighth, Solomon singled up the middle and later alertly dashed home after a wild pitch from Wilson went to the backstop. That would be all the Bisons needed to take a 3-2 victory over the Hatters.

Norman, who was tentatively scheduled to start on Saturday, induced a double play for the final two outs of the game. 

“This is a good feeling tonight,” Passantino said. “It was a complete team win. And it was big for our confidence, especially after dropping the last five games and with the tournament coming up next week. I couldn’t be more proud of this team. It was just such a great effort from everyone.”


Around the Horn:

  • The win was the fifth in a row against the Hatters.
  • Passantino matched his season long of eight frames pitched. His eight punch outs were two off his career high.
  • Gigliotti extended his on-base streak to 27 games and in the process he drew his 106th career walk, tying the school’s all-time record in the NCAA era.
  • All four Bison hits came from the one through four hitters.
  • Lipscomb left six men on base, compared to just two for Stetson.
  • Gigliotti ripped his 13th double of the season in the victory.
  • Time of game was 2:03.
  • Wilson is now just 10 strikeouts shy of tying the Stetson all-time record of 132 set in 2000. The Hatters also recorded their 500th strikeout in the win, becoming the first team in school history to achieve the feat. 


 Up Next:

Lipscomb and Stetson will meet again for game two on Friday night at 6 p.m. at Dugan Field. Junior right-hander Brady Puckett (7-5, 3.78 ERA) will toe the rubber for the Bisons. 

“I think this was a statement win tonight, letting everyone know that we aren’t just going to roll over and die because we haven’t played as well as we thought we would have,” Passantino said. “Now we just have to finish the weekend and get rolling into next week.”