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Bisons set for rematch with Athens Regional host Georgia

Sunday, June 01, 2008

June 1, 2008

ATHENS, Ga. _ In this history making season do the Lipscomb Bisons have one more chapter or two left?

Sunday afternoon at 1 CDT the Bisons, the No. 4 seed in the Athens Regional of the NCAA Tournament, face No. 1 seed Georgia for the second time in three days. Friday afternoon the Bisons opened the tournament with a 10-7 win over the Bulldogs, the Southeastern Conference regular season champions here at Foley Field.

Lipscomb coach Jeff Forehand plans to start either left-hander Mike Dunn, 5-4, 4.89 earned run average, or right-hander Josh Smith, 3-3, 4.88 ERA, against Georgia. The Bulldogs plan to start left-hander Nathan Moreau, 3-2, 5.06 ERA.

"I'm not sure what combination it will be in, but we plan to go with Dunn and Smith," Forehand said.

The loser is eliminated from the tournament. Georgia beat Louisville 9-8 Saturday afternoon to send the Cardinals home. Georgia Tech, the No.2-seed, remains unbeaten with an 8-5 win over Louisville and a 6-3 victory over the Bisons Saturday night.

The winning team plays Georgia Tech at 5 p.m. CDT Sunday. The Bisons are 6-6 against SEC teams in the two years under Forehand.

"We fought against Georgia Tech as hard as we could," Forehand said. "We just have to do what we have been doing and shake this game off.

"I really know how good Georgia is. I knew they were good coming in, but I have seen it first hand.

"They are as high-caliber a team as we have played all year long. The same game plan applies. We have to stay in the game as long as we can and give ourselves a chance to win in the end."

The loss to Georgia Tech was the first time the Bisons had ever played an Atlantic Coast Conference team. Teams from the Atlantic Sun are 0-7 against Georgia Tech during the 2008 season and 1-26 against the ACC overall.

This is the first rematch game for an A-Sun school in the NCAA Tournament since Florida Atlantic faced Mississippi State twice in 2005, losing both games. The last time an A-Sun school defeated the same team twice at a regional occurred in 2004 when UCF bested Oklahoma State 7-3 in its opening game and then beat the Cowboys 12-9 in 10 innings. A-Sun schools have lost five of their last six rematch games

Joseph ends runs streak: Against Georgia Tech catcher Caleb Joseph failed to score a run for the first time in seven games, he had scored 12 in the previous six. Joseph also ended a seven-game hitting streak.

Left fielder Blake Bratcher has hits in 13 of his last 14 games. Center field Allen Bolden has hits in 12 of his last 13 games and his last eight in a row.

"We had the leadoff double in the seventh and had the chance to get the go ahead run at that point," Forehand said. "We didn't get it done. Allen Bolden, Blake Bratcher and Caleb Joseph have been getting it done all year long.

"This was just one time they didn't do it. It will be their turn again. I can't fault any of them."