NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Lipscomb baseball team was unable to finish its 2017 regular season on a positive note, as the Stetson Hatters topped the Bisons, 4-1, at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium.
Stetson’s pitching staff held the Bisons to just seven runs and a .198 batting average in the series with 22 strikeouts to just two walks.
“Stetson pitches it really well and we knew that coming in to the weekend,” Lipscomb skipper Jeff Forehand said. “And anytime you are playing from behind it is tough, but when those guys are throwing it the way they were today, it becomes that much more difficult.
“I thought we did a solid job of fighting back, but we missed a lot of good scoring opportunities. In the end I have to tip my cap to their staff.”
Lipscomb finished the season with a 27-26 overall record (9-12 ASUN) and will be the No. 6 seed in next week’s ASUN conference tournament.
The Hatters (27-27, 15-6 ASUN) got on board first when Austin Bogart lined an RBI double to bring home Austin Hale. Stetson made it 2-0 on a run-scoring single by Mike Spooner in the third.
Lipscomb starter Dayton Tripp settled down after surrendering the early runs and went on to produce a quality start. He tossed six innings and gave up two runs while striking out five.
In the bottom of the third, the Bisons got a run back when Allan Hooker roped a single up the middle to plate Michael Gigliotti. Hooker replaced senior Hunter Hanks, who left the game after taking a pitch on the wrist in the first.
A 2-RBI single from Jorge Arenas gave Stetson some insurance in the top of the seventh. That would be all the offense the Hatters would need as the game was called in the top of the ninth due to lightning in the area. Just minutes later, the skies unleashed a monsoon upon Dugan Field.
Stetson clinched the No. 2 seed in the championship with the win.
Around the Horn:
- Gigliotti extended his on-base streak to 29 games with a single in the third. He also took sole possession of the school’s all-time run record when he crossed the plate later in the inning for his 164thcareer run.
- Thomas was the only Bison to record multiple hits, finishing 2-for-3.
- Alex Dorso made his 16threlief appearance of the season and tossed a scoreless inning.
- The Bisons did not steal any bases during the Stetson series. That marked the only series since Michigan (March 10-12) in which Lipscomb failed to swipe at least one bag.
- Lipscomb welcomed back the 1977 Bison baseball team to throw out the first pitches on Saturday. The team was celebrating the 40thanniversary of their NAIA World Series title, which culminated with a 2-1 victory over Southeastern Oklahoma.
- Time of game was 2:52 with 297 fans in attendance.
The Bisons will travel to Deland, Florida to take part in the ASUN conference tournament. Lipscomb will face the No. 1 seeded Jacksonville Dolphins on Wednesday. The game time is yet to be determined.
“I told our guys earlier, this season hasn’t gone the way we expected it to, but in the end we still have an asterisk by our name with a seed in the tournament. We still have a chance because the season isn’t over. Our postseason life is just now beginning.
“Obviously we would have wanted to finish the season ranked higher, but that’s over with now. We get to go play No. 1 Jacksonville, who just won the conference championship, so that will be a tough test, but our guys will be ready to roll.”