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Bisons edged by Tennessee Tech, 6-5
Tennyson Dodd
Tennyson Dodd

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

For the third straight game the Lipscomb Bisons jumped out to an early lead before falling in the late innings as Tennessee Tech edged the Bisons, 6-5 at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen Lee Marsh Stadium on Tuesday.

The Bisons led 4-1 entering the top of the fourth before being outscored 5-1 in the last six innings.

With the loss, Lipscomb (11-18) runs their losing streak to three games while the win improves Tennessee Tech to 10-16.

“Our team has had some misfortunate things not go our way the last few games but we still had plenty of opportunities to win this game tonight,” head coach Jeff Forehand said.

One of the turning points in the game came with two outs in the top of the fifth inning with Lipscomb leading 4-2. After Dannie Strable struck out two of the first three batters of the inning, Strable issued a walk to move runners to first and second with two away. In the very next at-bat, M.L. Williams and T.J. Hoelzer lost a fly ball in the evening sky in shallow left-center off the bat of Devin Rivers, allowing two Golden Eagles to score and tie the game at four.

With the game tied at four, Tennessee Tech manufactured another run in the seventh and added another run in the top of the eighth to take a 6-4 lead.

The Bisons had a great opportunity to tie the game in the bottom half of the eighth when the first two batters of the inning reached base. Kyle Henry led off the inning with a walk and then tried to score from first base on a double to right field by Hoelzer before being tagged out at the plate for out number one. Two batters later Williams drove in Hoelzer from second with a two-out RBI-single, to cut Tennessee Tech’s lead to 6-5.

Lipscomb had one more chance in the ninth inning, but Price got Lee Wilson to fly out to deep center to end the game.

“Once again we had several opportunities to score late in the game but we couldn’t get it done tonight,” Forehand said. “They had some key hits in timely situations with two outs and we did not. I made a costly mistake when I tried to send Kyle Henry to score on T.J.’s double in the eighth and that cost us a run at a key point in the game.”

Tennessee Tech took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first but the Golden Eagle lead didn’t last long as the Bisons scored two runs in the second and two more in the third to chase TTU starter Jake McWhirter after just 2.2 innings.

The Bisons got on the scoreboard when Ricky Coleman and M.L. Williams drew back-to-back two-out bases loaded walks in the bottom of the second to take a 2-1 lead after two innings.

Lipscomb tacked on two more runs in the third inning with once again both of them coming with two outs. Kyle Henry’s two-run double to left was the key hit in the inning.

Sophomore Benjamin Johnson got the start on the bump for the Bisons Tuesday, allowing two runs on six hits to go along with six strikeouts and one walk in 3.2 innings before being replaced by Dannie Strable.

“I thought Benjamin got some big strikeouts tonight when we needed him too and he did a good job of getting out of some jams early,” Forehand said.

Strable (2-4) was handed the loss, allowing three runs on five hits with two strikeouts in 2.1 innings of relief.

The Golden Eagles left 12 men on base and recorded 14 hits while the Bisons stranded 10 runners on base with 11 hits of their own.

Tennyson Dodd led the Bisons with three hits Tuesday, while Richie Goodenow and Kyle Henry added two hits apiece. Henry drove in two runs as did Williams.

Tennessee Tech’s Nick Price allowed just one run on six hits to go along with seven strikeouts in 6.1 innings of relief to earn his second win of the season.

Lefthander Gil Rehwinkel allowed one run, scattering three hits with two strikeouts in three innings of relief. Rehwinkel’s solid outing Tuesday, lowered his season ERA to 2.51, ranking third on the team (Fromm, 1.46, Sinclair, 2.20).

“Our team needs to be resilient and put these last three games behind us,” Forehand said. “East Tennessee State is one of the top teams in our conference so we need to rebound quickly.”

“The best thing for our team is to get back out on the field and play a game,” Forehand said. “This weekend series in Johnson City is big for our team and we have to move forward and put this game behind us.”

The Bisons will send left-hander Blake Fonfara (1-0, 3.44 ERA) to the mound to face the Buccaneers at 6 p.m. CT on Friday. Connor Sinclair (2-4, 2.20 ERA) will get the ball for the Bisons in game two which will start at 1 p.m. CT on Saturday. Sunday’s game will start at Noon CT and the Lipscomb starter is to be announced.