Middle Tennessee’s midweek struggles continued Wednesday night against Lipscomb. The Blue Raiders (13-10, 5-1 C-USA) managed just six hits and fell by a score of 8-1, plating the lone run in the ninth to prevent the shutout.
Will Schnure led off the bottom of the ninth with his first career triple and scored on Ronnie Jebavy’s infield single to the right side.
“We’re a momentum team and it’s important for us to get a lead and we weren’t able to do that,” head coach Jim McGuire said. “We got two hits in the first inning and had an opportunity to score right away.”
Returning to his hometown, Lipscomb starter Brady Puckett was highly effective in just his second career start. Puckett faced 31 batters and struck out four in a complete-game effort.
Jebavy (2-for-4) was the only Blue Raider with two hits and he leads the team with 14 multi-hit contests. The junior has hit safely in 20 of 23 games this season.
Brad Jarreau kept his average (.365) up with a single, while Jared Allen and Jake Ingold each recorded a base knock.
Junior RHP Heath Slatton was tagged with the loss after allowing six runs (three earned) to cross on five hits and a walk. Slatton lasted 3.2 innings and struck out three batters.
Lipscomb got on the board first with three unearned runs in the second. That proved to be enough, although the Bisons added three more in the fourth and one run in each of the sixth and seventh frames.
“We preached and preached to be ready,” McGuire said. “You can’t have a hangover from a game the night before, but it sure looked we did. We just could never get anything going.”
Will Small and Blake Stansberry both pitched for the second straight night, allowing two runs combined over the final 5.1 innings with no walks.
Freshman Phillip Kunsa (0-for-1) made his first career appearance at the plate when he came on as pinch hitter in the ninth.
Lipscomb out-hit the Raiders 13-6 and MT committed the game’s only defensive error.
The Blue Raiders return to conference play this weekend looking to stay on top of the league standings. Old Dominion comes to Reese Smith Jr. Field for a three-game series starting Friday night at 6 p.m.
Saturday afternoon’s contest will on American Sports Network at 3:35 p.m. CT, and is set to become the first nationally-televised regular season game in MT program history.