LipscombSports.com
Forehand expects offense to spark efforts at Tulane
Josh Smith
Josh Smith

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Lipscomb Bisons will be out to get on the winning track this weekend when they play a three-game series in New Orleans, La., against Tulane.

The Bisons are 0-3. Tulane is 2-2. Tulane holds a 2-0 record overall against the Bisons. Those games were played during the 1966 season in the NAIA era.

Friday night’s game at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium begins at 6:30. Saturday’s game starts at 2. Sunday’s game will begin at 11 a.m. Senior right-hander Josh Smith will start Friday. Senior right-hander Matt Bowling is on the mound Saturday followed by sophomore right-hander Davey Hackett on Sunday.

Lipscomb coach Jeff Forehand is hopeful that his team has learned from the opening series losses to Murray State last weekend.

“I don’t want to say we were nervous, but we had a hesitant and apprehensive team last weekend,” Forehand said. “We weren’t playing the way I think we will play after we get some games under our belts.

“We had some new junior college players. We have several freshmen. It was their first experience with Division I baseball. I think this week we just need to try to regroup and put together a solid game, something we failed to do three times last weekend.”

Coaches want their players to put losses behind them, but Forehand thought it was necessary to address those games during practice this week.

“I told them I don’t think it was anything we did particularly wrong,” Forehand said. “Murray State out-hit us. I think our pitching staff is potentially as good as or better than theirs is from top to bottom. They just out-pitched us.

“I think we defended better than they did. They just hit at opportune times and we didn’t. Hopefully, when we get runners on base or in scoring position that we can make adjustments and get a key hit in certain situations like they did all weekend long and not shoot ourselves in the foot so many times.”

One of the best newcomers was Cory Hale, a junior college transfer who plays third base. He batted .545 for the series with six hits, four of them for extra bases with three doubles and a home run, his first in NCAA Division I.

“Cory showed he is a good offensive player,” Forehand said. “He got rid of his jitters a little quicker than some of the others. The others were pressing a little bit when they didn’t have good at bats to start.

“I hope that the rest of the guys can get off to good starts this weekend. I want to see what we can do when we put the whole offense together. If we get our offense rolling I think we will get off to a good start.”

The Bisons will be facing a veteran Tulane pitching rotation. Right-hander Conrad Flynn will start Friday followed by left-hander matt Petiton on Saturday and right-hander Bobby Broach on Sunday.

“They have three proven arms…guys that have been around the block a little bit,” Forehand said. “They also have a really good closer.”

Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations