NASHVILLE, Tenn. - After squeaking past Stetson on Thursday, the Lipscomb baseball team was unable to make a comeback against the Hatters on Friday and dropped game two of the ASUN conference series by as score of 6-3 at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium.
Stetson (26-27, 14-6 ASUN) got on the board early with a 2-run homer for the second night in a row. On Friday, it came in the second inning on a blast to left field by Jorge Arenas, his fourth bomb of the season. The Hatters added a third run in the top of the fourth when Austin Bogart lined an RBI single into center field.
“It’s a tough thing to do when you fall behind early,” Lipscomb skipper Jeff Forehand said. “But I thought we battled back really well.
“We knew Stetson’s hype coming in was their arms on the mound, and their guys was very sharp tonight. It’s tough to beat a team like that when they pitch so well.”
Lipscomb starter Brady Puckett rebounded from the early deficit to produce a decent start. He went seven innings and surrendered four runs, while striking out four Stetson hitters.
The Bisons (27-25, 9-11 ASUN) remained hitless until Michael Gigliotti bounced a double off the wall in the bottom of the fourth. The speedy junior eventually scored on a fielder’s choice from Cade Sorrells, cutting Stetson’s lead to 3-1.
Bogart added his second RBI of the night in the sixth to put Stetson ahead 4-1. He then drove in another RBI in the eighth with a sacrifice fly, scoring Austin Hale to make it 6-1 in favor of the Hatters.
Lipscomb attempted a rally by plating two runs on three hits in the bottom of the eighth. Lee Solomon laced a double to center that plated Gigliotti, and Solomon later came around on an RBI single from Zeke Dodson to trim Stetson’s advantage to 6-3. That would be all the Bisons would manage offensively.
Stetson's Jack Perkins was sharp most of the night on the mound. He improved to 7-4 after working eight frames where he gave up three runs on eight hits. The right-hander did strike out six batters and walked only one.
The Bisons still have a chance to climb into the No. 5 seed at next week's ASUN Championship. They need a win, coupled with a Kennesaw State loss to FGCU, otherwise the Purple and Gold will go into DeLand, Florida as the sixth and final seed.
AROUND THE HORN:
- Gigliotti extended his on-base streak to 28 games with a fourth-inning double, his 14thof the season.
- Gigliotti also scored twice in the loss to give him 163 runs for his career, tying the school’s record in the NCAA era.
- The Bisons finished with nine base knocks, including multi-hit performances from Gigliotti, Solomon, and Dodson.
- Senior reliever Dallas Gibson made his 19thappearance of the season and pitched a scoreless ninth inning.
- Lipscomb did not steal any bases for the second consecutive night. The Bisons have stolen a program record 108 bases this season. The only three-game series they failed to swipe at least one base was against Michigan (March 10-12).
- Time of game was 2:33 with 257 fans in attendance.
Lipscomb will play the series finale against Stetson on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Dugan Field. Junior righty Dayton Tripp (3-3, 5.96 ERA) is slated to get the starting nod on the mound. The game represents the final home contest for the Bisons in 2017.
“One more game, everyone will be competing to win.” Forehand said. “We are just looking forward to getting back out here and getting the series win, but Stetson has another tough guy throwing tomorrow. We just have to be ready to come out and attack early.”