A loss checkered with pitching troubles tainted an otherwise decent start for the Lipscomb baseball season.

The Lipscomb Bisons (2-1) cycled through eight pitchers on Sunday and could not find any rhythm against the UNC Asheville Bulldogs (1-2). Costly errors combined with only three runs on eight hits contributed to the loss. The final score was 6-3 in favor of the Bulldogs.

“Their pitcher was really good,” Bisons head coach Jeff Forehand said. “But we were right in the game. We cut it to one. I really thought we had an opportunity; then they answered with two runs of their own…I think we learned a lot today.”

Freshman pitcher Noah Thompson made his first career appearance and lasted for a little over three innings before retiring. Thompson struck out three hitters but also allowed three hits and two runs, walked three hitters and hit another with a pitch.

“He didn’t pitch his best today,” Forehand said. “But I think that that’s only the bright spots to come, he’s going to be a gem for us, I think, down the line.”

Despite the collapse on Sunday, Lipscomb now stands at 2-1 after a three-game season opener against the Bulldogs. The Bisons started with a 3-2 victory on Friday in which the bullpen took over for the final three innings and allowed one hit and zero runs in that span.

Lipscomb had a similar game on Saturday against the Bulldogs, with starting junior pitcher Chris Kachmar allowing three hits and two runs in five innings and junior third baseman Zeke Dodson hitting what has been, so far, Lipscomb’s only home run this year. The Bisons won that game 4-2.

On Sunday, the Bulldogs solidly overpowered Lipscomb.

On the third pitch of the game, sophomore second baseman Joe Gruszka gave the Bulldogs a quick start with a home run. Gruszka later gave his team a 2-0 lead on a sacrifice fly in the third inning.

In the top of the fifth, sophomore third baseman Brandon Lankford and sophomore center fielder Chris Troost each batted runners in to put the game at 4-0. Neither run was earned.

Lipscomb finally scored in the bottom of the fifth when freshman catcher Chris Bashlor’s first hit of the season sent sophomore center fielder Josh Martinez home from third base. Later on, a seventh-inning two-run hit from senior second baseman Lee Solomon drove the score to 4-3.

But UNC Asheville retaliated. In the top of the eighth, junior right fielder Danny Wilson’s first home run of the season sailed just over the line of evergreen trees right outside the fence, and the Bulldogs added an RBI single from junior shortstop Carmine Pagano.

Bulldogs sophomore pitcher Jordan Carr played just over five innings and allowed five hits and one run.

The Bisons travel to Knoxville to face the Tennessee Volunteers at 2:30 p.m. central on Tuesday.

Photo courtesy of Lipscomb Athletics

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