DELAND, Fla. - Lipscomb baseball dropped a 5-1 decision to the Stetson Hatters Saturday evening at Melching Field in ASUN Conference action. A three-run homer and dominant pitching from the home team was enough to lead Stetson to the series-clinching victory.
Lipscomb falls to 15-18 overall and 3-5 in league play with the loss, while the Hatters improve to 27-8, 3-2.
Stetson jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning after taking advantage of a pair of Lipscomb errors. Jonathan Meola delivered a RBI-single in the second before the Hatters got an infield single from Brooks Wilson that allowed a run to score when Lee Solomon’s errant throw to first sailed into Stetson’s dugout fencing.
Lipscomb had a hard time cashing in on Stetson’s Jack Perkins, as the right-hander retired the first eight batters he faced. The Bisons, however, finally got something cooking in the top of the fourth when Zeke Doson drew a leadoff walk and then Jeffrey Crisan followed up with a single to center, allowing Dodson to scoot up 90 feet.
Two batters later, freshman Maddux Houghton laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners into scoring position. Following an Allan Hooker walk, senior shortstop Blake Thomas rocketed a shot back up the middle to plate Dodson. Trying to score from second, Crisan was gunned down on a perfect throw to the plate from Hatters center fielder Jacob Koos. The Bisons trailed 2-1.
Lipscomb starter Chris Kachmar ran into trouble in the fifth. Following a double and a walk to put two men on base, Wilson – the nation’s leading save man – hammered a 2-1 pitch over the right field fence for a 3-run shot. It was his first career home run and the first long ball of the weekend for either team.
The Hatters pitching had all the cushion it would need as Perkins, Ben Onyshko and Wilson combined to allow just two Bison baserunners over the final four innings.
Perkins improved to 5-2 with the win. He pitched 5.2 innings and surrendered just one run on three hits. The junior rang up 12 batters and walked four. Onyshko and Wilson worked the final 3.1 and held Lipscomb hitless with three punchouts and a single walk.
Kachmar fell to 2-2 with the defeat after tossing 6.0 complete innings. He scattered six hits, allowed three earned runs and struck out four. Senior Nicko Ortega worked the final 2.0 frames with three strikeouts and one hit allowed.
AROUND THE HORN
- The three hits tied for the fewest of the season for the Bisons. They also had three on Feb. 24 against Kent State.
- The one run also tied the fewest of the season. They scored just a single tally against Kent State and Northern Kentucky (March 3).
- Carson Wright’s stolen base in the third inning was the second of his career and the 40th of the season for the Purple and Gold.
- Lipscomb stranded six runners on base, while Stetson left four.
- With his single, Crisan extended his team-best on-base streak to 10 games, and hitting streak to five.
- Crisan, Thomas and Josh Martinez had the three base knocks for the Bisons. All three were singles.
The Bisons and Hatters will wrap up the series Sunday at 9 a.m. after impending weather forces the clubs to make the change from the original noon first pitch. Freshman southpaw Noah Thompson (3-2, 3.25 ERA) will toe the rubber for the Bisons looking to salvage the weekend.