LipscombSports.com
Bisons fall short in hitting battle with Jacksonville
Josh Cotham
Josh Cotham

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A pitching duel was expected, but a slugfest broke out with Lipscomb’s Bisons and Jacksonville’s Dolphins combining for 21 hits.

The Bisons held an 11-10 edge at the plate, but the Dolphins won the game 7-6.

Junior left-hander Rex Brothers gave up seven runs and seven hits in four innings. Six of the runs were earned. He also struck out seven and walked six.

Josh Cotham pitched four innings in relief for the Bisons, holding the Dolphins to three hits and no runs. He struck out one batter.

Brothers, 4-5, has been a hard luck pitcher this season in terms of this won-lost record. He leads the conference in earned run average and strikeouts. He is second in NCAA Division I in strikeouts as well.

But prior to starting Friday night the Bisons had only scored two runs in 24 innings in support of Brothers.

The series has been billed as the “Series of the Week” by the A-Sun. Baseball America called the match-up between Brothers and Jacksonville sophomore right-hander Matt Loosen as the “Marquee Match-up of the Week”.

Jacksonville scored one run in the first inning, three in the second, two in the third and one in the fourth.

Loosen didn’t fare much better. He gave up five hits and five runs, four earned, in 5.2 innings. He struck out six and walked five. Jacksonville would need three more pitchers to close out the game.

The Bisons scored one run in the fourth, four in the sixth and one in the eighth inning.

In the fourth Justin Sanders scored on a fielding error by Jacksonville’s third baseman.

Sanders and Branden Cadavid walked to lead off the sixth inning. Andrew Nickerson singled to right center to score Sanders.

Tennyson Dodd and Logan Hostettler both struck out swinging. Antonio Butler followed with a single to right center to bring Cadavid home. M.L. Williams hit a single to center to drive in Nickerson. With the bases loaded Allen Bolden was hit by a pitch that forced Butler home.

In the eighth Bolden hit a sacrifice fly to left field that drove in M.L. Williams.

M.L. Williams led the Bisons with three hits. Nickerson and Butler each had two. Dodd hit a triple.

Many scouts are predicting that Brothers will be drafted in the first half of the first round of this year’s Major League Draft.

The series continues Saturday at 11 a.m. at John Sessions Stadium. Junior right-hander Josh Smith (4-3, 3.41) will pitch for the Bisons. Sunday senior right-hander Brandon McClurg (3-3, 4.47) will start for the Bisons at noon.

The Bisons are 16-25, 10-9 in the conference. Jacksonville is 26-12, 15-7 in the A-Sun.