KENNESAW, Ga. – Hammering out 11 hits including four doubles, the Lipscomb baseball team downed Atlantic Sun Conference foe 7-5 on Saturday afternoon at Stillwell Stadium to clinch the series.
Along with notching double-digit hits for the 12th time this season the Bisons (15-9, 4-1 A-Sun) also turned three double plays including one in the bottom of the ninth that proved to be crucial in securing the win.
“Those guys put the work in to be good defenders,” said Lipscomb head coach Jeff Forehand. “We don’t want to be shocked when that happens. They work at it pretty hard and when a play has to be made in the game, they’re able to do it. I’m proud of them and today was a good defensive stand for us.”
Eight of the nine hitters in the Lipscomb lineup had a hit on the afternoon and five different Bisons drove in runs.
“That’s what any team wants from its lineup, to be able to produce throughout the lineup and today we did just that,” said Forehand. “The production up and down the order was good for us today. Hopefully, it will continue to be that way.”
The Bisons drew first blood in the contest with a 4-run third inning to take the early lead. Redshirt-sophomore first baseman Adam Lee and redshirt-freshman catcher Tyler Bethune got things started with each lacing a double. Bethune’s two bagger brought Lee home before he would score himself on a single through the left side by junior shortstop Grant Massey making it a 2-0 lead for the Purple and Gold.
Senior right fielder Drew Adams then followed with a sinking liner to right field that got past KSU’s Alex Liquori and rolled to the wall allowing Massey to come home. Junior designated hitter Tyson Ashcraft then launched the third double of the frame scoring Adams and giving Lipscomb a 4-0 lead.
The cushion would not last long for the Bisons however as the Owls would push across two runs in the fourth and one in the fifth to make it a 1-run game.
The double parade then picked back up in the sixth for the Bisons as sophomore third baseman Austin Sistrunk opened the frame with a two-base hit down the left field line. Redshirt-junior left fielder Josh Lee then reached on an infield single before his brother Adam loaded the bases on a 4-pitch walk.
A single to right by junior second baseman Mike Korte then made it a 3-run lead for Lipscomb as Lee and Sistrunk came home to score. That cushion would evaporate in the bottom of the frame though as the Owls countered with a pair of their own to make it a one-run game again.
The Bisons would load the bases again in the seventh behind back-to-back walks by Adams and Ashcraft and a bunt single from Sistrunk. Lipscomb would only get one run across on a sacrifice fly by Josh Lee though as a baserunning blunder cost a chance for a bigger inning.
Junior southpaw Nick Andros improved to 3-0 on the season tossing five full innings in relief of Bison starter Hunter Brothers. The lefty scattered seven hits and gave up a pair of runs in the relief effort.
“We went to Nick a littler earlier than we wanted to but he came in there and focused hard,” said Forehand. “He got a couple of double plays that got him out of some jams. Nick taking the reins like he did is really encouraging but we know he can do that.”
KSU’s Travis Bergen took the loss for the Owls giving up five earned runs and nine hits in five innings of work.
The series concludes on Sunday at Noon. Sophomore righty Denton Norman is scheduled to throw for the Bisons against fellow sophomore righthander Jordan Hillyer.
“It’s hard to win a single game in conference play, especially on the road,” said Forehand. “The opportunity to sweep a series is right there in front of us. Hopefully we learned something from last week and we can come out with a focus and a desire to get that done.”