Thursday, May 13, 2010
The Mercer Bears defeated the Lipscomb Bisons 13-6 Thursday evening at Dugan Field. Each squad scattered 14 hits, but Mercer notched six extra base hits and the Bisons committed four errors.
Prior to the game, senior second baseman Andrew Nickerson was awarded the Ken Dugan Award. Dugan was Lipscomb’s baseball coach from 1960-1997 and a standout outfielder for the Bisons.
The award is given annually to a “player who displays a love, passion and respect for the game of baseball, who demonstrates a burning desire and work ethic to continuously improve as a player and become a true champion, who demonstrates good character in victory and in defeat, and has a deep respect for God, his family and teammates.”
Dugan’s son, Mike, and other family members presented the award to Nickerson. Tadd Brewer, the winner of the 2006 award, joined the Dugan family for the presentation.
Bisons ace pitcher Josh Smith struggled from the start. Smith hit the first batter of the game then walked the second. The next two batters singled putting the first two runs on the board for Mercer.
Lipscomb senior first baseman Ryan Wilkins tied the game with a home run to left field, his third long ball in two days and career-high 10th this season. He drove in M.L. Williams who extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a single to left center two batters prior.
Mercer (30-20, 13-9 A-Sun) took a 4-2 lead in the second with a single then back-to-back two out doubles. The Bears expanded their lead to 5-2 in the fourth scoring an unearned run.
Mercer broke the flood gates open in the sixth inning. A one-out double then consecutive walks loaded the bases. After Smith recorded a strike out, Mercer notched two singles which scored four runs. Only three were earned as the Bisons committed three errors in the inning. The first was a wild pickoff throw by Smith and then poor throws were made by the corner outfielders after each single.
With the Bisons (17-32, 7-14 A-Sun) down 11-2 in the seventh, pinch hitter Shawn Mehring opened the inning with a single to left center. He is 7-of-14 this year as a pinch hitter.
Lee Wilson followed with a walk before his brother Tyler Wilson launched a three-run shot, his sixth of the year, off the batting complex in left field.
Chad Fromm relieved Smith and pitched the final two innings giving up two runs in the ninth.
Smith threw seven innings giving up 11 hits and 11 runs, nine earned. He walked five and struck out five. Smith has 115 strikeouts on the season to lead the NCAA. He received the loss to fall to 8-4.
Williams led off the ninth with a triple to center field. Wilkins drove him in with a single to center.
Matt McCall (5-3) earned the win throwing 5.2 innings giving up seven hits and two runs. Mercer used five relievers in game one of the three-game series.
The Bisons are back in action tomorrow afternoon for a doubleheader at 1 p.m. against Mercer. Prior to the game Senior Day and a special graduation ceremony will be held for the Bison seniors. Between games the 1960 Bisons Baseball team will be recognized.
Benjamin Seamon and John Higgins will have the call for the Lipscomb Sports Network and ASun.TV.