NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 4, 2014) – Lipscomb scored five runs in the first two innings and the Buccaneers were never able to recover as the Bisons opened the series with a 9-7 victory over ETSU Friday night at Dugan Field.
Jonathan Allison jump-started Lipscomb’s offense as he led off the bottom of the first inning with a home run and ended up going 3 for 4 with a triple, home run and three RBI, while Josh Lee went 5 for 5 with one double and two RBI. Overall, the duo totaled eight of the Bisons 16 hits on the night, while Lipscomb survived a late rally by the Blue and Gold as the Bucs plated five runs in the seventh to pull within two runs. Lipscomb starter Ian Martinez-McGraw earned the win (5-1) after allowing six runs on 10 hits in six innings and Jason Ziegler picked up his second save of the year. Ziegler worked the final three innings and issued one run on one hit.
ETSU freshman right-hander Austin Hutchison (Jefferson County, Tenn.), who was making his first Friday night road start, suffered the loss (3-2) as he was charged with eight runs on 12 hits (both season highs) in 4.1 innings of work. The Buccaneer rookie also struck out four and walked three, but endured his first conference loss of the season. Senior Will Chesney (Knoxville, Tenn.) tossed the final two innings of scoreless ball, while striking out two and walking three.
Offensively, seven of ETSU’s nine starters registered at least one hit, while Kevin Phillips (St. Louis, Mo.), Tyler Roach (Knoxville, Tenn.), Trey York (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Matt Sorrow (Griffin, Ga.) all finished with two hits each. Dylan Tritsch (Boca Raton, Fla.) also notched a hit and scored a run to extend his streak of reaching base safely to 16 straight games.
The Blue and Gold have now lost two of the first three games of this five-game road swing and dropped to 14-15, 4-3 in A-Sun play. Meanwhile, Lipscomb has won 17 of its last 21 games to improve its record to 19-12, 8-2.
Lipscomb grabbed momentum early by plating two runs in the first and tacked on three more in the second to take a 5-0 lead. Allison put the Bisons on the board with a leadoff homer in the first and he followed that up with a two-RBI triple in the second. Meanwhile, Lee began his perfect night at the dish by ripping a two-out RBI single in the first and Allison scored the fifth run on Drew Adams’ RBI single in the second.
The Bucs finally struck for two runs in the third when Sorrow’s first triple in an ETSU uniform scored York from first, and Sorrow came home on an RBI groundout by Jeremy Taylor (Fayetteville, Ga.), making it a 5-2 contest.
Once again, the middle innings continued to haunt the Blue and Gold as Lipscomb scored one run in the fourth, two more in the fifth and pushed across another run in the sixth to extend its lead to, 9-2.
However, the Bucs didn’t go down without a fight as ETSU registered five runs in the seventh to cut its deficit to two runs, 9-7.
The first five Buccaneer hitters reached to start the inning as Tritsch led off with a single through the left side and scored on Roach’s double to center. From there, Roach moved to third when York singled up the middle and Sorrow drove in his second run of the night on an RBI single to left. Once again, with no outs and runners on the corners, Taylor continued the scoring spree as his single scored York from third, while Sorrow came home on a sacrifice fly from Chris Cook (Kingsport, Tenn.). Clinton Freeman (Jonesborough, Tenn.) capped off the scoring plays when a rare sac-fly made it a two-run contest as Cook scored from second on Freeman’s fly out to center, marking the seventh straight game the Jonesborough, Tenn. native has driven in a run.
Despite cutting their deficit to two and working out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the seventh, the Bucs were unable to finish the comeback.
The Blue and Gold had the tying run on in the ninth when Taylor was hit by a pitch with two outs, but Ziegler closed things up by inducing Cook into a game-ending groundout to third.
For the game, ETSU recorded 11 hits and went 4 for 7 with runners in scoring position, while the Bisons were 5 of 13 in scoring opportunities and left 12 runners stranded.
The Bucs look to even the series on Saturday as game time is set for 3 p.m. Eastern. Junior right-hander Jimmy Nesselt (Plantation, Fla.) gets the start for ETSU, while Lipscomb counters with red-shirt junior right-hander Hunter Brothers.
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