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Lipscomb (7-12, 0-2 A-Sun)
USC Upstate (14-3, 2-0 A-Sun)
3/17/2012 | Spartanburg, S.C. | Attendance: 215
Saturday, March 17, 2012
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Unable to get a number of hard-hit balls to find green grass, the Lipscomb baseball team dropped a 2-1 Atlantic Sun Conference contest to homestanding USC Upstate on Saturday afternoon at Harley Park in Spartanburg.
The St. Patrick’s Day affair seemed to see the Spartans (14-3, 2-0 A-Sun) wearing their green jerseys have all the luck of the Irish against the Bison (7-12, 0-2 A-Sun). Lipscomb ripped pitch-after-pitch seemingly right at Spartan defenders.
“We hit 10 or 12 balls on the nose and that’s our game but that’s how it goes sometimes,” said Lipscomb head coach Jeff Forehand. “We hit the ball hard many times today but hats off to their guy. He did a great job going eight innings and he held us scoreless.
“We’ve just got to keep fighting. We played a solid game today, we just didn’t get any breaks.”
Upstate opened the scoring in the contest with a run in the second frame off Lipscomb junior starter Josh Cotham (1-2). Back-to-back singles got things going for the Spartans putting a pair of runners aboard for Brody Greer, who hit a looping ball to right that gave Upstate a 1-0 lead.
That would be the only run allowed by Cotham as the righty would leave the game in the next inning after developing some tightness in his throwing arm. Senior right-hander Dannie Strable was brought on in relief and the veteran was fantastic the rest of the way for the Bison.
Strable held Upstate in check allowing only one run and three hits in five and one-thirds innings of work. The senior walked a pair and struck out one in his longest outing since tossing six frames against Middle Tennessee last month.
“Strable was great,” said Forehand. “That’s one of the takeaways from the game. He came in and kept us right there. I can’t say enough about that. He stepped up today with a good performance unfortunately, we couldn’t squeeze it out and tie it up for him in the ninth.”
Down two heading into the ninth, the Bison mounted a formidable comeback against Upstate closer Chad Sobotka, who earned the win in extra innings on Friday night for the Spartans and entered the game having not allowed a run in nine previous appearances. Lipscomb junior right fielder Lee Wilson got things started by drawing a leadoff walk. Junior centerfielder Zach Lowery then ended Sobotka’s shutout streak with a double to left that allowed Wilson to score easily from first.
That would be all the Bison would muster in the frame though as Sobotka managed to earn the save despite having control issues.
Scott DeCecco earned the win on the hill for Upstate tossing eight innings of shutout ball. Retiring 14 Bison in a row at one point, DeCecco allowed only three hits and no walks to improve to 4-0.
Lipscomb and Upstate conclude the series on Sunday with a Noon first pitch at Harley Park.