Thursday, May 23, 2013
DELAND, Fla. - The Florida sunshine dimmed a little for the Lipscomb Bisons Thursday morning.
An early wake-up call had the No. 6-seeded Bisons at Stetson's Melching Field at Conrad Park ready to play No. 3-seeded North Florida at 9 a.m. CDT.
Scattered lightning had delayed the baseball game for a day. LU and North Florida had been scheduled to play the last of four games Wednesday night. Inclimate weather has often hampered the Atlantic Sun Tournament when it has been played in Central Florida.
LU coach Jeff Forehand did not use the scheduling change as an excuse for the Purple and Gold's 6-1 loss to North Florida.
"We can't control what the weather does," Forehand said. "We have been in rain delays all year long. Our guys understand how to handle it.
"It is just unfortunate that it happened in a tournament in a first round situation. We were excited to play Wednesday and then we had to hold off."
The Bisons have dealt positively with adverse weather conditions at Melching Field. In 2009 they survived a tournament that had its format altered by rain and fell to Jacksonville in the championship game.
The Bisons will be back in action at 4 p.m. Thursday in the loser's bracket against Florida Gulf Coast, the No. 2 seed. The Eagles were upset Wednesday 3-1 by No. 7-seeded Kennesaw State.
"It is hard to play out of the loser's bracket," Forehand said. "We have to tip our caps to North Florida. Their guy, Kyle Westwood, pitched a great game."
LU's Josh Cotham pitched his third complete game in his last four outings.
"Josh pitched good enough to win for us," Forehand said. "We had a couple of miscues that gave them their runs. They capitalized when they had opportunities."
The Bisons will spend the mid-day hours resting and eating lunch.
"We have to focus on the next game," Forehand said. "We have to win so we can keep moving.
"We just talked about that as a team. Now every game is on the line. We have to play that way."
A major positive for the Bisons is that the bullpen was not used in the North Florida game.
"It is tough," said senior LU right field Lee Wilson. "You always want to get ahead in the first game.
"The one good thing about it is we have our whole bullpen and the rest of our starters will be ready to go out there if we need them. We have nothing to lose. We have to give it all that we've got."
Wilson also refused to use the altering of the tournament schedule as a reason for the Bisons loss.
"When you play at Stetson you know that weather can be a factor," Wilson said. "Sometimes the weather is going to push games back.
"You have to prepare every time you have to realize that. You have to be ready to go out and play whenever your time is called."