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Bisons earn No. 2 seed in A-Sun Tourney with sweep of ETSU
Chandler Wicks
Chandler Wicks

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Lipscomb Bisons baseball team won two games at East Tennessee State in Atlantic Sun play in Johnson City Friday night at Cardinal Park.

They won game one 6-5 and took the nightcap 16-7. With the wins the Bisons sealed the No. 2 seed in the Atlantic Sun Tournament which opens May 20 in DeLand, Fla. The Bisons will meet No. 5-seeded Mercer in the first game of the double-elimination tournament.

The first game was the continuation of a game that was suspended Thursday night in the fifth inning with the Bisons leading 4-3.

Senior right-hander Brandon McClurg pitched the final 4.2 innings. He scattered four hits and allowed two runs, both earned. He walked two and struck out three on the way to the win, his fifth of the season.

Junior left-hander Rex Brothers had pitched the first 4.1 innings. He struck out six and walked two while giving up five hits and three runs, all earned.

Allen Bolden led the Bisons with three hits and two runs batted in. His solo home run to left field with two outs in the ninth inning proved to be the game-winner. It was the eighth home run of the season for Bolden, a new career high for a season.

M.L. Williams hit his third home run of the season for the Bisons, a two-run shot to left in the third. Brandon Cadavid hit two doubles, giving him 13 for the year. Tennyson Dodd recorded his 10th double of the season. Ryan Wilkins also had a double.

In game two the Bisons pounded out 16 hits. The 16 runs scored is a new season high for the Bisons who had twice scored 13 runs in a game this season. The Bisons collected 15 runs batted in, also a new season high.

The Bisons scored one run in the first, two in the fourth, eight in the sixth and five in the ninth. ETSU had two runs in the sixth and five in the seventh.

Junior right-hander Josh Smith, 6-4, won game two, throwing six innings and allowing only three hits and two earned runs. He struck out 10 and walked one. Matt Bowling pitched three innings and gave up three hits while striking out one for the save, his first of the season.

Andrew Nickerson, who came into the game as a pinch-hitter for M.L. Williams and stayed on to play second base, had four hits and four RBI, both individual season highs. He slugged a two-run home run to right center in his first trip to the plate in the fifth inning.

Justin Sanders hit a solo shot to open the ninth inning. It was his 11th home run of the season, a career high. He is only the second Bisons hitter to reach double figures in home runs since the NCAA era began. Last season Caleb Joseph hit a program-high 17.

Catcher Chandler Wicks drove in three runs, his first multi-RBI game of the season.

M.L. Williams, Wilson and Nickerson each had a double in the game.

The Bisons are 23-30, 17-12 in the A-Sun. East Tennessee State is 23-27, 9-20 in the conference.

The series concludes Saturday at noon.