The loss was the first one for the Commodores in 24 midweek games as they fell to 32-7 on the year. The Bison won their fifth straight to improve to 23-16 overall.
“I want to give all the credit to Lipscomb tonight,” said Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin. “They beat us in every phase of the game. They had 13 hits and had chances to run up the score even more. Lipscomb just outplayed us and had the better team tonight, no question about it.”
VU starter Brett Jacobson held Lipscomb scoreless until running into trouble in the sixth. Joseph led of the inning with a single and scored on a RBI double by Ryan Wilkins. Casey Bond bunted him to third and Justin Sanders followed with a RBI double of his own to tie the game. Sanders moved to third on a wild pitch by Jacobson, causing the Commodores to go to Stephen Shao out of the bullpen. Shao was able to get out of the jam by striking out Branden Cadavid and getting Andrew Nickerson to fly out to center.
Shao retired the first two Bison in the seventh before Shane Simpkins hit a slow roller to the right side of the infield that Shao slipped while trying to pick up. This allowed Simpkins to reach via an infield single and then Joseph came through with the go-ahead homer to left. Lipscomb later added another run on a RBI single by Justin Sanders to push the advantage to three runs.
VU attempted to rally like it had done 18 times previously and loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth. Reliever Brandon McClurg got Ryan Davis to pop up to shallow center and Alex Feinberg then grounded to short to get one run home. Pinch hitter Matt Meingasner struck out on a 3-2 pitch to end the rally.
McClurg retired the side in order in the ninth to pick up his second save of the year.
“We couldn’t get the hits when we needed to and their pitchers shut us down when they had to.” added Corbin. “McClurg was very tough out of the bullpen.”
Lipscomb starter Rob Smithson (5-3) gave up three runs on seven hits with five walks and five strikeouts in seven innings of work in the win.
Stephen Shao (0-2) gave up three runs on three hits in 1.1 innings of relief to pick up the loss. Nick Christiani closed out the game with 1.1 innings of one-hit relief.
Shea Robin led the Commodores with two hits. “This game hurts, but we just have to put it behind us and get ready for a tough Middle Tennessee club tomorrow,” said Robin.
The Commodores took a 1-0 lead in the second on Ryan Davis’ sacrifice fly. Dominic de la Osa started things out with a one out walk and then advanced to third on Shea Robin’s single before scoring on Davis’ fly ball to center.
Pedro Alvarez’ RBI single in the second made it 2-0. Kurt Lipton led off the inning with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by David Macias. Jonathan White then walked before Alvarez singled through the right side to score Lipton.
Jacobson gave up two runs on eight hits in 5.1 innings with a strikeout and no walks in the no-decision.
The Commodores will close out their five game road swing tomorrow against Middle Tennessee at 6 p.m. VU will then return home for a seven-game home stand starting with in-state foe Tennessee on Friday at 7 p.m.
Vanderbilt 011 000 010 -370
Lipscomb 000 002 300 -5(13)0
Jacobson, Shao (6), Rhoden (7), Christiani (7) and Robin. Smithson, McClurg (8) and Joseph. W- Smithson 5-3, L- Shao 0-2. Sv- McClurg (2). HR- VU: None. LU: Joseph (5)