LipscombSports.com
Bisons outslug Spartans to clinch series
Josh Chism
Josh Chism

Sunday, April 17, 2011

In what some tabbed as the most important game of the season, the Bisons broke out the bats Sunday, using a 16-hit effort to pull out a 10-7 win over USC Upstate in the rubber-game to clinch the series at Ken Dugan Field.

The win gave Lipscomb (14-23 overall, 5-10 A-Sun) its second conference series win of the year. The Bisons took two of three from Jacksonville back in late March.

Josh Chism, M.L. Williams and Aaron Spragg led the offensive barrage with each of them recording three hits Sunday.

A pair of fourth-inning home runs by M.L. Williams and Josh Chism jump-started the Bisons offense and led to eight runs in the middle innings and Alex Ross, Chad Fromm and Chris Nunn closed out the game on the mound to earn the win.

“Anytime you win a series you feel like you have accomplished what you set out for on the weekend,” Forehand said. “We let one slip away from us yesterday, but we put up double-figure runs today and the pitchers held them off.”

“We still have 15 games to go in conference play,” Forehand said. “Several of the teams only have nine to go because we have already had our open weekend.  With 15 to go, it is in our hands.  If we win the next five series, then we are going to be in great shape.  That is all we need to concentrate on."

Early in the game, Lipscomb took advantage of a Spartan error in the second inning to take an early 1-0 lead. Spragg, who reached base all five times on Sunday, drove in Chism on an RBI-single through the right side for the first run of the game.

The Bisons tacked on another run in the third when Williams scored on an RBI-single by T.J. Hoelzer

Lipscomb trailed 4-2 before scoring five runs in the fourth and three in the fifth to take a commanding 10-4 lead.

With two outs in the fourth and Lipscomb trailing by two runs, M.L. Williams lined the first-pitch from Jake Waller over the left-field wall for a game-tying, two-run homer. Following Williams homer, T.J. Hoelzer  singled and Richie Goodenow was hit by Waller to put runners on first and second with two outs. After working the count full and fouling off a couple of pitches, Chism drilled a three-run shot into the trees beyond the left-field wall to give Lipscomb a 7-4 lead. The home runs for Chism and Williams were both their third long-ball of the season.

“When they scored in the fourth, and then we answered in the bottom of the fourth, I think that was a big turning point in the game,” Forehand said. “ Then we came back and got what I call cheap runs in the fifth on some mistakes that they made, all with two outs.  Which is what turned out to be the deciding point of the game. “

With a LU clinging to a 7-4 lead, the Bisons took advantage of another defensive mistake by the Spartans and extended its lead with three runs on four hits in the fifth to go up 10-4. Three straight singles by Ricky Coleman, Spragg and Williams led to the first run of the inning.

With a four-run lead and one-out and runners on first and third in the fifth things, Williams stole second base causing an errant throw down by Upstate catcher Luke Weber. As the ball bounced away into left-field, Coleman scored from third, as did Williams, who scored all the way from second base on the same error with some aggressive base running.

With Williams speed, coach Forehand knew it would be an option.

“I thought he was in pretty good step when the ball bounced away,” Forehand said. “ A lot of times his speed out-runs the ball.  I probably couldn’t have done that with many other guys.  It just happened to be the right situation. “

Upstate (13-26, 7-12 A-Sun) sliced into the Bison lead in the eighth, scoring three runs on four hits, including a two-run home run by Weber to make it a 10-7 game.

Ross allowed three runs on three hits to go along with three strikeouts in 3.1 innings of middle relief to earn his first win of the year.

Fromm and Nunn threw a combined 1.2 innings of scoreless relief to close out the eighth and ninth innings to end the game.

Lipscomb will travel to Clarksville, Tenn., on Tuesday to play Austin Peay. First pitch will be at 6 p.m. and the game will be broadcasted for free on Lipscombsports.com. Benjamin Seamon and Travis Young will have the call on the Lipscomb Sports Network.

Other Game Notes:

Williams went 3-for-5 with 3-RBI, a home run and 3 runs scored

Chism went 3-for-4 with 3-RBI, a home run and two runs scored

Spragg reached base all five plate appearances. Finishing 3-for-3 with an RBI, 2 walks and 2 runs scored

Goodenow went 2-for-4 with a  run scored

USC Upstate Series Notes:

Chism went 6-for-12 with a home run and 5 RBI in three games

Goodewnow went 5-for-10 with 2 RBI and 3 runs scored in three games

Hoelzer went 6-for-13 with 2 RBI and 2 runs scored in three games

Coleman went 5-for-12 with a double and 2 runs scored in three games

Williams went 5-for-13 with 4 RBI, 6 runs scored, 2 stolen bases

Connor Sinclair didn't allow an earned run on the weekend, striking out five in six-innings