Errors Costly in 9-5 LossMarch 22, 2005 · MT Media Relations
The homestanding Bisons fell behind 2-0 but tied the game in the fourth on a pair of unearned runs, only to watch the Blue Raiders take another lead in the fifth. Lipscomb added two more runs in the fifth and seventh and three in the sixth to take the lead for good, scoring two more unearned runs during the stretch.
Lipscomb starter Adam Blackwell (1-1) scattered 10 hits in six-plus innings to get the win, giving up five runs, three earned, with two walks and a strikeout. The Blue Raiders stranded seven runners in the first four innings and 10 in the contest, letting the Bisons hang around early despite the visitors collecting nine hits in the first four frames.
Middle Tennessee lost for the fifth straight time this season and the loss ended a five-game winning streak against Lipscomb. The Blue Raiders have committed 10 errors in the five-game slide, scoring just 22 runs after averaging more than eight runs per game earlier this year.
Middle Tennessee starter Tyler Copeland (2-1) took the loss, allowing seven runs, three earned, on six hits, walking four with two strikeouts in five-plus innings.
The Blue Raiders got off to a good start with a run in the first after Eric McNamee drew a leadoff walk and both Jeff Beachum and Nate Jaggers reached on singles. Marcus Taylor grounded into a doubleplay, but McNamee scored for a 1-0 lead.
The Bisons looked to get a run in the bottom of the inning, with Ryan Mitchell drawing a leadoff walk and Nick Bruning doubling down the rightfield line. But Taylor played the ball well off the wall, hitting McNamee, who made a perfect throw to the plate to nail Mitchell and keep the Raiders in the lead, 2-0.
Middle Tennessee continued to hit but left the bases loaded in the fourth, and that came back to haunt the club in the bottom of the inning.
Lipscomb got a leadoff single from Tadd Brewer and a pair of walks followed, but catcher Michael McKenry picked Brewer off at third for the first out of the inning. A fielding error on Jaggers loaded the bases before a two-out dumper over Beachum's head into leftcenter, plating two runs to knot the score.
Taylor gave the Blue Raiders the lead again in the fifth with his first home run of the season, a leadoff shot to centerfield.
The Bisons got a leadoff triple in the bottom of the frame from Brett Burgess, who scored on a deep fly to right by Whit Reed. Taylor dropped the flyball, allowing Reed to move to second. A bunt moved the runner to third and Reed scored on a groundout by Mitchell for a 4-3 LU edge.
Lipscomb added to its lead in the sixth, thanks to a throwing error by Jaggers to start the inning and a single off the pitcher's glove. Bruning then sliced another double down the rightfield line, scoring a run and chasing Tyler Copeland from the game.
Patrice O'Rourke then blooped a single over a drawn-in infield, plating two runs for a 7-3 LU advantage.
Middle Tennessee scored two unearned runs in the seventh, with the rally starting on a two-base error by centerfielder Burgess. Jaggers then reached on a passed ball after striking out to put runners on the corners. McKenry drove in a run with a single down the leftfield line, and Todd Martin's single up the middle plated Jaggers to make it 7-5.
But the Bisons got the two runs back in their half of the seventh, thanks to a leadoff single from Mitchell and a two-out hit batsman by Bruning. O'Rourke then doubled to leftcenter, plating both runners for a 9-5 Lipscomb lead.
Alan Tungate and Seth Kuwik each worked an inning for the final six outs, Lipscomb's first win over the Blue Raiders since April 1, 2003.
McNamee, Beachum and Jaggers all had a pair of hits for Middle Tennessee, pacing the club's 12-hit attack. Bruning went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored for the winners, while O'Rourke had four RBIs and two hits.
Middle Tennessee begins Sun Belt Conference action this weekend with a three-game series at Arkansas-Little Rock beginning Friday at 6 p.m.
Nate Jaggers' infield single in the first inning was the 200th hit of his career ... Marcus Taylor belted his first home run of the season in the fifth and his first since May 29 of last season, a stretch of 20 games.
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