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Saint Louis (0-1)
2/17/2012 | Nashville, Tenn. | Attendance: 416
2/18/2012 | Nashville, TN | Attendance: 363
Thursday, February 16, 2012
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb baseball team kicks off the 2012 slate this weekend hosting three games of the inaugural “Mule Mix Classic” at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen Lee Marsh stadium. The Bison lift the lid on the schedule on Friday afternoon with a 4 p.m. first pitch against the Saint Louis Billikens before a Noon tilt against Evansville on Saturday and a 1 p.m. contest against Kansas on Sunday afternoon.
Starting his sixth season at the helm, Lipscomb head coach Jeff Forehand has given the nod to junior Connor Sinclair to take the hill in the season opener against Saint Louis. Sinclair returns for his senior season after an earning all-star honors in the Coastal Plain League where he posted a 5-3 record and 2.52 ERA for the Outer Banks Daredevils.
“We’ve got a lot of guys that can play, “said Forehand. “It’s going to be some different lineups every day. We’ve got to get some young guys in there and get them some experience because at the end I think that’s going to pay off.
In only the second meeting between the two schools, Saint Louis is expected to counter with sophomore southpaw Damian Rivera, who posted a 3-1 record and a 3.11 ERA last season. The Billikens went 29-26 last season including a 10-14 finish in the Atlantic 10 conference.
Saturday’s contest against Evansville will see junior lefty Blake Fonfara get the chance to start after going 2-3 with a 5.09 ERA last season as a sophomore for the Bison. The southpaw will be matched up against righty Sam Johns, who opened the season for the Purple Aces in 2011 but was injured in the first inning of the opener and missed the rest of the season and received a medical redshirt. Evansville went 28-25 a year ago and finished 7-13 in Missouri Valley Conference action.
Wrapping up the opening weekend on Sunday, junior Josh Cotham is slated to take the mound for Lipscomb against the Jayhawks. Cotham was solid out of the bullpen last season for Lipscomb making 13 appearances where he held opposing batters to just .197 at the dish. Kansas will send freshman Wes Benjamin out for his first collegiate start after the Jayhawks finished 2011 26-30 overall and 9-18 in Big 12 action.
Lipscomb will be looking for its first win over Kansas having gone 0-2 in two previous attempts.
The Bison are co-hosting the "Mule Mix Classic" in conjunction with Belmont and MTSU, who are also hosting contests in the round-robin event.
Tickets are $5 each day with free admission for those 12 and under.