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Bisons shut out Belmont 4-0

Friday, March 17, 2006

March 17, 2006

Box Score

Solid pitching, near perfect fielding and timely hitting are a hard combination to beat.

On a cold, gray day at Greer Stadium the Bisons shut out rival Belmont 4-0 in Atlantic Sun competition. The three-game series continues Saturday and Sunday with single games at 1 p.m. each day.

Right-hander Matt Schnelly, 2-1, 2.36 earned run average, will start Saturday for Lipscomb against Belmont righty Josh Moffit who is 1-0 with a 1.48 ERA. On Sunday right-hander Josh Smith, 2-2, 5.06 ERA, will start for Lipscomb against left-hander Carlo Testa with a 2-1 record and an identical 5.06 ERA.

Left-hander Paul Piennette and right-hander Charles Williams combined for the shutout. Piennette evened his worksheet at 2-2, pitching 5.1 innings. He gave up four hits, struck out seven and walked two.

"Paul was ahead of every batter, except two," said Lipscomb coach Wynn Fletcher. "When you are getting the first strike on hitters it is hard to go wrong. They were giving him the corner, and he went with it. When he gets zeroed in with his changeup he can pitch like this."

Williams pitched 3.2 innings to earn the save. He allowed one hit and struck out two, closing out the ninth inning with two fly balls and a called third strike.

"Williams has done a pretty good job his last three times out," said Fletcher. "A lot of pitchers don't want that role. But once you have some success in that role you start enjoying it.

"Both Charles and Brandon McClurg have shown they can throw on a short amount of rest. They are both pitchers who can keep you in a game. They are freshmen, but they compete very hard."

The Bisons committed one error and turned a pair of double plays. He points to shortstop Tadd Brewer and second baseman Whit Reed as the defensive anchors.

"Those two guys in the middle can turn some double plays," said Fletcher. "And double plays are momentum killers.

"The ball really carries in Greer, but our outfielders were in the right spots. And they were backing up the plays."

While it is a short road trip, the victory kept the Bisons undefeated on the road with a 5-0 record.

The Bisons scored one run in the third inning, one in the sixth and two in the ninth.

In the third Brewer reached base on an error by Belmont's third baseman. Patrick O'Rourke singled to right field moving Brewer to second. Nathan Sensing singled to center field, scoring Brewer.

Ryan Mitchell opened the sixth inning with a single to center field. Zac Miller singled down the left field line. Jeff Baumgartner walked to load the based. Reed reached on a fielder's choice that allowed Mitchell to score.

In the ninth Reed opened with double to left center. He moved to third on a wild pitch. Brewer brought Reed home with a sacrifice fly to center field.

"Tadd had fouled off four or five pitches before hitting the ball to center field," said Fletcher. "That was a big play for us."

O'Rourke walked. Sensing singled to right field. Sensing was caught stealing at first base which allowed O'Rourke to score from third.

Miller led the Bisons nine-hit attack with three hits, including one double. The Bisons improved to 9-8 overall, 2-2 in the A-Sun. Belmont is 9-9, 1-3 in the conference.