DELAND, Fla. – Trailing 4-2 to homestanding Stetson, the Lipscomb baseball team got a pair aboard in the ninth but were unable to draw even with the Hatters dropping the Saturday afternoon Atlantic Sun Conference decision at Melching Field in Deland.
Stetson (25-13, 8-6 A-Sun) got on board first in the third inning behind a pair of singles, a walk and a sacrifice fly to take a 1-0 lead in contest.
The Hatters then added a pair in the fifth inning taking advantage of a Lipscomb (17-22, 9-8 A-Sun) throwing error to plate two runs taking a 3-0 advantage over the Bisons.
A Hatter error got things going for the Bisons in the sixth as junior shortstop Aaron Sandoval reached on a bad throw by the Stetson shortstop. A single by junior Gray Hutchinson moved Sandoval into scoring position and a perfect sacrifice bunt by senior catcher Logan Hostettler moved both runners up 90 feet. That set the table for senior designated hitter Shawn Mehring, who grounded to short allowing Sandoval to score from third but Hutchinson got caught in a rundown ending the scoring threat for the Bisons.
Trailing 3-1, the Bisons cut the lead to a run in the seventh. Junior centerfielder Zach Lowery led off the frame with a single through the left side and moved into scoring position on a balk by Stetson starter Lindsey Caughel. The Hatters almost got out of the jam as Caughel fanned a pair of Bisons but freshman first baseman Griffin Moore came through in the clutch with a base hit to center field making it a 3-2 game.
That would be as close as the Bisons would come however as the Hatters added an insurance measure with a solo home run off freshman reliever Hunter Brothers in the bottom of the eighth to push their lead back to two runs. It was the only blemish in a solid relief effort for Brothers, who came on in relief of starter Blake Fonfara in the fifth inning.
Brothers allowed the lone home run and a pair of walks while fanning five in the final three and two-thirds innings. Fonfara (2-5) took the loss after tossing four and one-third innings allowing seven hits one earned run and four walks, while fanning four batters.
Caughel (5-2) got the win for Stetson going six and two-thirds innings allowing five hits, one earned run and one walk while notching seven strikeouts against the Bisons. Robbie Powell picked up a save working the ninth inning for the Hatters. Powell ran into some trouble as the Bisons put two aboard behind a hit and a Hatter error but a pop up and strike out looking ended Lipscomb’s hopes.
The two teams conclude the three-game series on Sunday at 10 a.m. at Melching Field