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Errors doom Bisons in 6-4 loss to UNF
M.L. Williams
M.L. Williams

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Errors are part of the game of baseball.

But when your team makes six it borders on excessive and makes it difficult to come out on the winning side.

Such was the case for the Lipscomb Bisons Saturday afternoon. They went into the eighth inning at sun-splashed Ken Dugan Field at Stephen Lee Marsh Stadium with a 4-3 lead, but lost 6-4 to the North Florida Ospreys in an Atlantic Sun game.

“When you make six errors and strike out 11 times you aren’t going to win many games,” Bisons’ coach Jeff Forehand said. “I told them after the game that we were our toughest opponent. Most of the time when you make errors that leads to the opponent getting cheap runs.

“Making a play when it is in the middle of a battle with bases loaded is more difficult than when you are just catching them in practice. Six errors gave them the majority of their runs. We’re up one run going into the eighth. We have got to be able to win that type of game. The pressure was on and we didn’t make the plays.”

The series is even at 1-1 with the Bisons having won Friday’s game 4-2. Game three is Sunday at 1. Neither team has named a starter.

The loss drops the Bisons to 11-16 overall, 3-5 in the A-Sun. North Florida is 15-13, 7-7 in the conference.

“We have to figure who is going to be the best match-up,” Forehand said.

The game started out on a promising note for the Bisons. M.L. Williams led off with a first inning triple to right center. But North Florida starter Kyle Westwood retired the next three batters leaving Williams stranded.

In the second the Bisons challenged again and scored two runs. Rickey Coleman drove in Josh Chism with a single through the left side. Catcher Matt Brewer, who was safe on a throwing error by the third baseman, worked his way around the bases and scored on a wild pitch by Westwood.

The Ospreys scored their first run of the game in the fourth inning on a solo home run to left center by Shane Kennedy. Friday night Kennedy scored on an inside-the-park home run, his first home run of his college career. Saturday’s was his first home run to clear the fence.

The Bisons answered with a run in the fourth. With two outs Kyke Henry singled to right field followed by a single up the middle by T.J. Hoelzer. Williams got his second hit of the day and his fifth of the series, a single through the left side that plated Henry.

North Florida scored another run in the fifth. Michael Wesner led off the inning with a triple to right field. The next batter struck out. Alex Hernandez then reached base on an error by the shortstop that allowed Wesner to score.

North Florida continued to chip away at the Bisons’ lead, tying the game at 3-3 in the seventh. T.J. Gavlik entered the game as a pinch-hitter and singled up the middle. Hernandez reached base on an error by the third baseman. Bacon moved both runners up a base with a sacrifice bunt. Smith grounded out to second base to allow Gavlik to score.

Again the Bisons added a run in the seventh. Williams reached base on an error by the second baseman. With one out Richie Goodenow singled to right field to move Williams to third. Tennyson Dodd hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Williams.

In the eighth the Ospreys capitalized on a lead-off walk, two hits, two errors and a wild pitch to put three runs on the board for the come-from-behind win.

Right-hander Connor Sinclair, 2-4, pitched 7.1 innings for the Bisons. He gave up six hits and six runs, but only two of the runs were earned. He walked three and struck out nine.

“Connor is a battler,” Forehand said. “He is going to make the big pitch. We stayed with him a little longer than we normally would. I thought he pitched a great game.”

Chad Fromm, also a right-hander, threw 1.2 innings in relief. He gave up one hit and struck out four of the seven batters he faced.

Williams is batting .500 for the series (5-for-10). Chism extended his hitting streak to 16 games. Goodenow has 12 multi-hit games and Williams has 10.

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