DeLAND—Austin Perez and Mitchell Jordan combined on a three-hitter, helping Stetson to a series-clinching 8-2 win over Atlantic Sun Conference leader Lipscomb, Friday at Melching Field. Stetson goes for the series sweep on Saturday.
Despite a late start and soggy playing conditions, the Hatters (16-24 overall, 5-9 A-Sun) enjoyed perhaps their best game of the season. Stetson collected 11 hits and walked five times. Eight of nine players in the starting lineup reached base at least once. Perez and Jordan combined to strikeout nine and walk just one.
“It was a great win against a very good ballclub,” said Stetson head coach Pete Dunn. “We pitched well. I’m really proud of Austin. It’s been a long time coming. We were talking before the game that tonight is the night for him to breakout and get (his first win). Then Mitchell came in and did a great job to get the save.”
Dunn also praised his offense.
“We swung the bats tonight. We had some big two-out hits, which he haven’t been real good at for most of the season. We have to build on this win. We have to get greedy and get that third win tomorrow.”
With Perez tossing up zeroes in the early going, Stetson struck for three runs in the third. Kevin Fagan started the rally with a lead-off walk, and a wild pitch and Tyler Bocock single put runners on the corners with none outs. Patrick Mazeika followed with an RBI double to make it 1-0.
Kyle Pitts doubled two batters later, scoring Bocock and Mazeika and Stetson owned a 3-0 lead.
Perez carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning before allowing a two-out single, and Lipscomb (24-16, 12-5) finally got to the senior left-hander in the sixth.
Back-to-back two-out RBI doubles by Drew Adams and Josh Lee made it a 3-2 game, but Jordan quieted the Bisons uprising by striking out Hunter Hanks to end the inning.
Stetson answered Lipscomb’s rally with a run in the bottom of the sixth when Fagan’s two-out single scored Mike Fernland to make it 4-2.
“We talk all the time about how there are two important, statement innings,” said Dunn. “When you score, it’s important for the pitcher and the defense to go out and shut the other team down. Also, it’s just as important that when you do give up some runs that you come back and answer. We did both of those things tonight.”
Stetson added its final run in the eighth on a double play.
Perez (1-6) finished with two runs – both unearned – on three hits in 5.2 innings. He walked one and tied a season-high with six strikeouts. Jordan earned his first career save with 3.1 innings of perfect relief. He struck out three.
Bocock led the Hatters with three hits, while Fernland extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a 2-for-3 effort. Fagan walked three times and scored twice.
Hunter Brothers (2-2) took the loss for Lipscomb, allowing three runs on three hits in 2.1 innings.
The Hatters and Bisons conclude their series at 1 p.m., Saturday.