NASHVILLE – Lipscomb baseball’s comeback effort fell short on Saturday afternoon, with the Bisons suffering a 13-9 loss in 13 innings to UNC Greensboro at Ken Dugan Field.
The Bisons are now 8-11 overall, while UNCG moved to 14-4.
Lipscomb had just one hit through its first four innings before the bats woke up. After scoring a single run in the fourth and fifth innings, the Bisons entered the bottom of the ninth trailing 7-2. The home team strung together five consecutive hits and used three free passes to bring five runs across the dish and send the game into extras.
“That’s just a big confidence booster in our offense,” Lipscomb skipper Jeff Forehand said. “To know we were down five with our backs against the wall, they didn’t give up and came back to tie it up and even give us a chance to win it.
“We are disappointed we lost, but that is exciting. We are playing better ball right now than we have been, a lot better. It’s contagious and everyone recognizes it, but let’s tip our cap. UNC Greensboro is a very good ball club, they will make some noise in the SoCon.”
The teams shut out one another through the next three innings before blood was drawn in the 13th. The Spartans touched Bisons senior closer Kyle Kemp for six runs on three hits and four walks. The biggest blow came five batters in as Cesar Trejo turned on a 2-1 count and blasted a grand slam into the trees beyond left field. UNCG went on to add two more runs on a 2-out single from second baseman Austin Embler.
Lipscomb responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the 13th, but it wasn’t enough. Josh Martinez rocketed a double down the third base line to score Jackson Furstace, who reached on an 8-pitch walk. Blake Thomas then followed with a RBI single up the middle to drive home Martinez and round out the day’s scoring.
Thomas led the Bisons’ offense with a 3-for-6 afternoon at the dish. He scored a run and drove in another. Furstace finished 1-for-4 with two RBI and two runs. He and Thomas combined for five putouts and seven assists in the middle infield.
Kemp took the loss for the Bisons and fell to 0-2 on the year. Chris Kachmar drew the start and pitched 6.0 innings. The junior right-hander surrendered four runs on eight hits and a pair of walks. He recorded four of Lipscomb’s seven strikeouts.
“All we ask him is to give us a start to where we can be in the ball game,” Forehand said. “Unfortunately they (UNCG) ran into a pitch there in the 13th and it was the difference in the game. We will be back.”
Robbie Knox was fantastic out of the bullpen once again for Forehand’s club. He tossed 3.0 innings and faced just two above the minimum with only one hit allowed and three strikeouts. He lowered his team-leading ERA to 1.23.
AROUND THE HORN:
- Saturday marked the first extra-inning game of the season for the Bisons, and just their second in two years.
- Lipscomb stranded nine runners on base, while UNCG left 13.
- The Spartans hit .389 with two outs (7-for-18) and .467 with runners in scoring position (7-for-15). Lipscomb hit .143 (2-for-14) and .615 (8-for-13).
- Jeffrey Crisan (2-for-4) joined Martinez and Thomas as the only Bisons with multiple hits.
- Freshman Maddux Houghton was 1-for-4, but also scored two runs and drew a walk.
- Houghton swiped his fourth stolen base of the season, while Thomas stole his 10th.
- Coleman Goodwin, Tevin Symonette, Cade Sorrells and Zeke Dodson all collected one RBI.
The Bisons and Spartans close out the series at 1 p.m. on Sunday at Dugan Field. Noah Thompson will get the nod and will face off with Dan Loats of UNCG.