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Tuesday, March 30, 2010The last time the Lipscomb Bisons and Middle Tennessee State’s Raiders met it was a run-scoring extravaganza.
MTSU scored 18 runs, the most the Bisons have given up this season. The Bisons scored 15 runs, pounded out 20 hits and drove in 15 runs, all season highs.
“MTSU is a run-producing machine,” Lipscomb coach Jeff Forehand said. “You know you have to score some runs to be in there with them.”
The Bisons scored eight runs in the ninth, but MTSU’s lead was just more than they could overcome. Forehand doesn’t want a repeat of that March 16 meeting at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium when the two teams meet again Wednesday night.
Game time is 6 p.m. at Reese Smith, Jr. Field on the campus of MTSU in Murfreesboro.
“They are so good on offense,” Forehand said. “We have to try to slow them down a little bit.
“The last time we got ourselves into too deep of a hole after they had scored several runs. We proved that we could score as well, but we have to be able to hold them down.”
Forehand plans to start freshman left-hander Blake Fonfara (0-0, 7.50 earned run average). This will be the fourth appearance of the season for Fonfara, but it will be his first start.
“We will probably throw several guys to try to get ready for the weekend,” Forehand said. “Hopefully, we can keep them off balance.”
The Bisons have played two Atlantic Sun series. They are 7-17 overall, 2-4 in the conference. This weekend they are taking a break from conference play to host Illinois State. Forehand’s plan is to use these games to fine-tune this team.
“We have to be more opportunistic when we have opportunities to drive in runs,” Forehand said. ““We know we can score. We get ourselves in a situation where we have the chance to drive in runs and we are not doing it.
“And we have to not have mental lapses where we give up four runs in an inning when we could limit it to two. Part of our mental make-up right now is that we feel like we are snake bit when the ball doesn’t bounce our way.”
Walks have also been a problem for the Bisons.
“Go back and look at the last game against ETSU,” Forehand said. “We gave up six runs and three of them were scored on walks. At this point we are not capable of overcoming that kind of inning when are not opportunistic ourselves.
“Walks are going to happen. But we seem to compound our problems when the runners who get on base because of a walk usually score. You can’t defend a walk.”
The Bisons enter the week with Lee Wilson tied for fifth in the Atlantic Sun overall in batting with a .417 average. He leads the team in multi-hit games with 10. His 10-game hitting streak is also the longest active streak on the team.
Pitcher Josh Smith is eighth in the conference with a 3.83 ERA.
Tyler Wilson is tied for second in stolen bases with 19. M.L. Williams is eighth in stolen bases with 11.
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.