|Start of Series Opener Delayed by Rain|
The start of Friday night's series opener between Stetson and Lipscomb will be delayed after a strong thunderstorm passed over Melching Field. The game is now scheduled to get started at 9:30 p.m.
The Stetson Hatters will hit the mid-way point of the Atlantic Sun Conference baseball season this weekend when they host Lipscomb for a three-game series at Melching Field.
Saturday’s game is scheduled for 2 p.m. and Sunday’s series finale is scheduled for an 11 a.m. start to accommodate travel arrangements for the Bison. Game times for any of the games could be affected by a forecast that calls for rain and thunderstorms all weekend.
With 15 league games left in the race to the A-Sun Tournament, the Hatters (23-13, 6-6) are clinging to fifth place, but are just two back in the loss column behind league leading Belmont. Stetson and Jacksonville had their league bye weeks early and have played one fewer league series than the other A-Sun teams.
Lipscomb comes into the series with an overall record of 17-20, but also with a 9-6 league mark. Stetson is 1.5 games behind the Bison in the standings and needs a series sweep this weekend to move up to fourth in the standings.
For the Hatters, however, to focus in completely on getting off to a good start in the series. Stetson has not won an A-Sun series opener since the final conference series of the 2011 season. In those four league openers, Stetson has surrendered a total of 56 runs, an ERA of 15.00, while allowing a whopping .464 opponent batting average.
Junior Kurt Schluter has surrendered much of that damage, but did not pitch last weekend to rest his arm. He’ll return to the mound on Friday looking to snap a two-game personal losing streak that comes on the heels of winning 13 in a row.
Schluter, who is 4-2 on the year with a 5.88 ERA, will be opposed on the mound by Lipscomb senior right-hander Connor Sinclair. The native of Wichita, Kansas, comes into the game with a 5-2 record in nine starts with a 3.00 ERA. In his 60 innings of work he has allowed 22 walks while posting 43 strikeouts.
The Hatters will look to seniors Ben Carhart and Mark Jones to continue swinging hot bats to help the team get their first A-Sun series opener. Carhart leads the team with a .358 average and comes in riding a career-best 13-game hit streak. Jones has hit in 10 straight and is tied with Carhart for the team lead with four homers.
All three games of the weekend series will be available through Hatter Vision online.