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Bisons-Georgia NCAA Athens Regional Game Notes

Friday, May 30, 2008

May 30, 2008

LIPSCOMB BISONS, No. 4 Seed (32-28) vs. GEORGIA, No. 1 Seed (35-21-1)

NCAA ATHENS REGIONAL TOURNAMENT

FOLEY FIELD

ATHENS, GA.

MAY 30, 2008

THE SERIES: This the first time the Bisons have faced Georgia in a baseball game. The Bisons are 5-6 the past two seasons against Southeastern Conference teams.

ON-THE-AIR: Game time is 2 p.m. CDT. The games will be televised by CSS.

THE NCAA TOURNAMENT: This is the first time the Bisons have ever appeared in an NCAA Regional in baseball.

The Bisons are one of four teams making their first NCAA Tournament appearance. The others are Dallas Baptist, an independent; Mount St. Mary's from the Northwest Conference; and UC-Davis from the Big West Conference.

As an NAIA school the baseball program routinely played in the postseason winning the NAIA National Championship in 1977 and 1979.

ONE FOR THE BOOKS: The Lipscomb athletic programs first became eligible for NCAA postseason play during the 2003-2004 academic year.

The Bisons baseball team is the first men's team at Lipscomb to advance to NCAA Tournament play. The Lady Bisons basketball team participated in the NCAA Tournament in 2004, losing in the first round of the regionals. The Lady Bisons volleyball team played in the NCAA Tournament in 2007, also losing in the first round of regional play.

A-SUN NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY: This is the first time in the last 10 years that the Atlantic Sun has sent only one team to the NCAA Tournament in baseball.

The conference had earned multiple bids in 12 of the last 13 and 15 of the last 20 NCAA Tournaments.

In 1990 Georgia Southern, a former A-Sun member, advanced to the College World Series. The last time an A-Sun team advanced to a Super Regional was Florida Atlantic in 2002.

This season Atlantic Sun teams were 1-3 against Georgia and 0-6 against Georgia Tech.

HOW THEY GOT HERE: The Bisons won the Atlantic Sun Tournament with a 15-inning, 10-9 win over Gardner-Webb. The game was the longest in terms of innings in the title game, beating the previous record of 12.

The Bisons were the top-seed in the tournament, but finished third in the A-Sun. Florida Gulf Coast, the conference regular season champion, and Kennesaw State, the second place finisher, are not yet eligible for NCAA Tournament play.

The Bisons dominated the A-Sun Tournament finishing first in batting (.358), pitching (4.06 ERA), on-base pct. (.430), slugging pct. (.512), hits (77), doubles (12), home runs (seven), and RBI (49).

The Bisons never scored fewer than eight runs in a tournament game and averaged 10.4 runs per game.

ON THE MOUND: The Bisons finished third in the A-Sun in pitching with a 5.12 ERA.

Left-hander Rex Brothers, 3-5, 5.69 ERA, is expected to start for the Bisons in the opening game. Brothers was outstanding in the A-Sun Tournament opener with Campbell picking up the win, allowing only one hit in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out five and walked two. He also pitched five innings in relief in the championship game holding batters to a .114 average.

Brothers, A-Sun Freshman of the Year, last season, led the Atlantic Sun in strikeouts this season with 93 strikeouts, 9.13 per game.

Right-hander Brandon McClurg is second in the weekend rotation and right-hander Michael Dunn would be third.

PROJECTED POSITION STARTERS: C Caleb Joseph, 1B Ryan Wilkins, 2B Ben Williams, SS Jorge Gutierrez, 3B Branden Cadavid, RF Shane Simpkins, CF Allen Bolden, LF Blake Bratcher, DH Justin Sanders.

AWARDS AND HONORS: Pitcher Brandon McClurg and catcher Caleb Joseph both were named to the All-Atlantic Sun Conference First Team.

Joseph was named MVP in the Atlantic Sun Tournament. Also on the All-Tournament Team were pitcher Rex Brothers, relief pitcher Chris Burnett, third baseman Branden Cadavid, second baseman Ben Williams, center fielder Allen Bolden and right field Shane Simpkins.

McClurg has twice been named Atlantic Sun Pitcher of the Week. In addition, McClurg was also named as one of five "Louisville Slugger" National Players of the Week, as well as awarded the Southeast Region Performance of the Week by InsidePitching.com

McClurg threw a no-hitter against Kennesaw State, a 4-0 win March 29. It was the first A-Sun no-hitter in two years.

A-SUN RANKINGS: Brandon McClurg is third in the conference with a 3.11 earned run average. He is first in opponent's batting average (.234). He is fifth in strikeouts with 71, an average of 7.61 per game.

Pitcher Rex Brothers is first in strikeouts with 93, one short of tying his mark for last season.

Catcher Caleb Joseph is third in home runs with 16. Joseph is third in total bases (155). He is fifth in slugging percentage (.628). He is tied for fourth in RBI (60). He is fifth in doubles (20).

Designated hitter Justin Sanders is third in doubles with 22.

Center fielder Allen Bolden is second in runs scored with 61. He is fourth in doubles with 21. He is tied for fifth in walks with 36. He is tied for eighth in total bases with 124.

Shortstop Jorge Gutierrez is tied for ninth in stolen bases with 18.

HEAR THE BAND: Bisons catcher Caleb Joseph (drums), Bisons pitchers Jordan Baron (rhythm guitar, lead vocals) and Jerry Young (bass guitar) are joined by Lipscomb student Trent Bailey (lead guitar) in rock band called "Cold Steal."

They have played several times at campus event. They practice in the baseball press box.

THE .300 CLUB: Five Bisons are batting .300 or better. Caleb Joseph leads the way at .352 followed by Allen Bolden (.343, Shane Simpkins (.324), Justin Sanders (.310) and Blake Bratcher (.305).

Ben Williams is close at .296.

PERFECT ATTENDANCE: Three Bisons, Caleb Joseph, Allen Bolden and Jorge Gutierrez, have played and started in all 60 games this season.

BISONS A WINNER: The Bisons were the only team in the A-Sun Tournament with a winning overall record this season. They were one of two teams with a winning A-Sun record.

DUGAN AWARD: Second baseman Ben Williams has won the Ken Dugan Award, the highest honor a Lipscomb baseball player can receive, for the past two seasons. He is the only player to win the award twice