DELAND, Fla. – Locked in a pitcher’s duel at Melching Field, the Lipscomb baseball team was unable to find a way over the hump as the Stetson Hatters walked off in 10 innings to hand the Bisons a 3-2 defeat in the ASUN Conference series opener.
The loss drops Lipscomb to 15-17 overall and 3-4 in league play, while Stetson improved to 26-8 and 2-2.
After working around a couple of scoring threats late in the game, the Bisons were unable to keep the Hatters off the board in the 10th as Eric Foggo drove a single through the left side with two outs to score Mike Spooner from second and give the home team the walk-off victory. Spooner set up the frame with a leadoff double down the line in left field.
Although runs were hard to come by for most of the night, both squads found a way on the scoreboard early in the contest.
Senior second baseman Lee Solomon got Lipscomb rolling in the top of the first when he turned on a 1-0 pitch and laced it down the third base line for a leadoff double. Two batters later, after stealing third, Solomon crossed the dish on a Zeke Dodson single that deflected off the Hatters’ Logan Gilbert to give Lipscomb a 1-0 advantage.
The Hatters answered in the bottom of the second with a pair of runs to grab a 2-1 lead. A leadoff double, a Bison error and a bases-loaded single led Stetson to its runs.
From there things settled down as Lipscomb’s Joshua Colon and Stetson’s Gilbert engaged in a pitcher’s duel.
Colon was coming off a loss against Jacksonville last weekend where he did not allow a base hit, but surrendered six free passes. Friday night, he was much better. The junior right-hander tossed 6.0 innings and allowed just two unearned runs on four hits. He also walked two and struck out six, including five straight over the third and fourth frames.
Gilbert, widely considered a top-15 pick in June’s MLB Draft, worked 8.0 innings and struck out 11 Bisons. He retired 11 consecutive batters at one point, with eight coming by-way of a punchout, and scattered just five hits.
Gilbert’s run of consecutive batters retired came to an end when Solomon launched a solo home run in the top of the sixth to level the game at 2-2. That would be all the runs Lipscomb would get.
Junior Robbie Knox entered in relief for the Bisons and got them out of a jam in the bottom of the eighth after Stetson put runners at first and second with a 3-0 count on the batter. However, Knox battled back with three straight strikes to end the threat.
Knox would wind up taking the loss after surrendering the game-winning run in the 10th on a 2-out single. He worked 2.0 frames with three hits and one run while falling to 1-4 on the season.
AROUND THE HORN
- Solomon led the Bisons at the plate with a 3-for-4 night that included a home run, a double, two runs scored and two stolen bases.
- The home run was Solomon’s second of the season, while the double was his fifth.
- Dodson, Jeffrey Crisan and Maddux Houghton recorded the other three base knocks for the Bisons.
- Lipscomb struck out 14 times at the dish, led by Tevin Symonette’s three and Chris Bashlor’s two.
- Kyle Kemp and Alex Dorso also made relief appearances out of the pen. Kemp struck out one and walked one in an inning of work, while Dorso pitched two-thirds of a frame with a walk.
- Houghton stole his fifth bag of the season. He is now second on the team in swipes.
- The Bisons stranded just four runners, while Stetson left nine on.
- Brooks Wilson got the win for Stetson with a 2-inning appearance where he struck out three and allowed just one hit. He moved to 3-0 on the year.
Lipscomb and Stetson gets back on the diamond at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday as Chris Kachmar (2-1, 3.99 ERA) goes to the hill looking to even the series for the Bisons.