DELAND (Florida Sports Wire) – It was a tight battle to the very end, but after waiting out another extended weather delay and putting the tying run in scoring position twice in the last two innings, Jacksonville University baseball fell 4-3 to 1-seed Lipscomb on Friday at Melching Field
The Dolphins (34-24) were eliminated from the ASUN Baseball Championship with the loss.
It was a good start with the season on the line, as JU weathered an early challenge to take the lead. A leadoff double by Lipscomb in the bottom of the first and a stolen base set the Bisons up with runners at the corners.
A groundball to Kris Armstrong at third started what appeared to be an inning-ending double play, but after a review, the call was overturned and Lipscomb took a 1-0 lead.JU responded in the top of the second, with Justin Nadeau drawing a leadoff walk and Blake DeLamielleure following with a double to right field. Hogan McIntosh knocked them both in with another double, this one to right center, and Tommy Joseph singled to right to plate McIntosh and make it 3-1 Dolphins. The pitching settled in after that, with Richard Long sitting down the Bisons in order in the second, and working around a two-out walk with his fourth strikeout of the game to end the third. He ran into some trouble in the fourth. A leadoff homer started the inning, followed by a double put the Bisons in business. A one-out single scored another, followed by an RBI fielder’s choice to give Lipscomb a 4-3 lead it would not relinquish. The rain came in the top of the sixth, pouring sheets through Nadeau’s at-bat to lead off the inning, before play was finally halted. The delay lasted two hours and 32 minutes, and after the break, pitching and defense dominated the rest of the way. Leighton Alley had stranded the bases loaded without allowing a run in the fifth, and he came out again when play resumed, retiring the first seven men he faced. He ran into a little trouble in the seventh, allowing a two-out single and a walk, and Chris Lotito came out to get the final out, holding Lipscomb scoreless again. JU looked to tie the game in the eighth, when Elias Flowers walked with one-out and stole second. Nadeau drilled a ball up the middle that was caught by the leaping Lipscomb shortstop to end the threat.
In the ninth, McIntosh and Steidl strung together back-to-back singles. Cam Ridley pinch-ran for McIntosh, and he and Steidl advanced into scoring position on a groundout. A groundout to second ended the game.