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Jacksonville (4-12, 0-2 A-Sun)
Lipscomb (12-8, 2-0 A-Sun)
3/15/2014 | Nashville, Tenn. | Attendance: 0
Jacksonville (5-12, 1-2 A-Sun)
Lipscomb (12-9, 2-1 A-Sun)
3/15/2014 | Nashville, Tenn. | Attendance: 454
Saturday, March 15, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb baseball team opened Atlantic Sun Conference play with a series win over Jacksonville but just missed a chance at the sweep after dropping the nightcap 7-6 following a 17-6 win in game one on Saturday afternoon at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium.
“When you lose the last game of a doubleheader it’s always tough,” said Lipscomb head coach Jeff Forehand. “You just remember the last game, not how well we played Friday night and how well we played in the first game today. You just leave with a bad taste in your mouth with an opportunity to sweep a series but that’s hard to do.
“We don’t want to be satisfied with getting beat but I’m proud of them for what we did the first two games and winning the series.”
Game two saw the Bisons (12-9, 2-1 A-Sun) fall behind 1-0 in the first inning as the Dolphins (5-12, 1-2 A-Sun) pushed across a run after three-straight hits to start the contest. Lipscomb would answer in the second as junior designated hitter Griffin Moore walked and junior second baseman Mike Korte reached on an infield single setting the table for redshirt-freshman catcher Tyler Bethune, who quickly made it a 3-1 lead for Lipscomb with his first home run as a Bison.
“Tyler’s played great,” said Forehand. ”That’s a tough thing to do, to catch 18 innings in one day but we felt like he was swinging the bat good and we just decided to go back with him in game two. Just a good day for him and I’m proud of him.”
The lead would not last long though as Jacksonville answered right back in the top of the third on a 2-RBI double to tie the game 3-3. The Bisons countered in the bottom of the frame as junior left fielder Tyson Ashcraft laced a one-out double down the left-field line before sophomore third baseman Austin Sistrunk swapped places with Ashcraft with a double into the left centerfield gap.
The Dolphins would quickly answer again with a three-run frame in the fourth on a bases-clearing double to 6-4 advantage. The Bisons would push across a run in the bottom of the frame to cut the lead back to a run when senior right fielder Drew Adams, the reigning A-Sun Player of the Week, hit a sacrifice fly to left that brought Bethune home to score.
Lipscomb would go on to tie the game up in the sixth when junior shortstop Grant Massey doubled over the JU centerfielder’s head to knot the game at six as Korte scored his fifth run of the day.
The eighth inning proved to be the difference in the contest as Jacksonville’s Cameron Gibson ledoff the frame with a single up the middle and then swiped second base to move into scoring position. That set things up for Angelo Amendolare and he delivered a sinking liner into right field. Adams made a strong throw to the plate that nearly nabbed Gibson but it was just up the line and Bethune could not make the tag.
Junior southpaw Jason Ziegler took the loss despite a solid relief effort. Ziegler allowed one earned run in three and one-third innings of work. He gave up two hits and struck out four without walking a batter.
Zach Gordon picked up the win in relief for the Dolphins allowing just one hit in one and one-thirds innings of work. He then handed the ball over to Adam Maxon, who worked a perfect eighth and ninth innings to notch his third save of the season.
Game one saw the Bisons bats connect on 10-plus hits for the fourth straight game and the top three in the lineup combined to go 8-for-17 with six runs scored and five runs driven in.
Jonathan Allison, Adams and Sistrunk each went deep for the first 3-run home run game for the Bisons since the 2010 season.
The contest was a tight affair with the Dolphins holding a 5-4 lead going to the bottom of the fifth but the Bisons erupted for three in the fifth and five in the sixth to put the game out of reach. Lipscomb then added a run in the seventh and four insurance tallies in the eighth.
Junior Nick Andros picked up the win in relief working the final five innings. The southpaw gave up one earned run and a pair of hits while walking two and striking out a pair.
On the afternoon, the Lipscomb bullpen 10 and one-third innings allowing just two earned runs and scattering six hits. The combination of Ziegler, Andros, Jacob Knott and John Pryor also combined to fan 11 Dolphins while issuing only three walks.
“The bullpen is doing a great job,” said Forehand. “We’re holding the lead in the right spot and giving our offense a chance to score some runs. We’ve done that the last few games. The offense has gotten on track and they’ve been able to push some runs out for us and the bullpen has just been a staple.
“Hopefully we can keep doing that. It’s a good formula. Tonight we just didn’t get a run pushed across late.”
Bethune led the Bisons at the plate with a 4-for-6 day including six RBIs, three runs scored, a sacrifice fly and a sacrifice bunt. Massey had the only other four-hit day with a 4-for-11 effort that included two runs driven in and another scored.
The Bisons continue home action on Tuesday night hosting in-state foe Middle Tennessee at 6 p.m. at Dugan Field.