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Wednesday, March 10, 2010For a couple of minutes Lipscomb coach Jeff Forehand really didn’t know why assistant coach Chris Collins wanted to make sure he grabbed the game ball at the end of the Bisons 8-2 win over Youngstown State.
When he presented it to Forehand he congratulated him on his 300th career win. Forehand was caught by surprise. Collins, however, remembered.
“Chris has been with me for 50, 100, 200 and 300,” Forehand said. “He made sure he gave it to me after the game. It was pretty nice.
“I told somebody one time that after my first season at Trevecca I really didn’t think I would get to 50. It took us all season to get to 15. It was a pretty rough start. The 300th win will mean more when I put that ball on the shelf at the end of my career.”
Wins have been difficult for the Bisons this season. The win Wednesday night at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium gave the Bisons a split in the two –game series with Youngstown State. The Bisons lost 9-8 Tuesday.
“I am excited we bounced back after having the lead late in the game Tuesday and giving it up,” Forehand said. “Winning is the best medicine for anything like that.
“We are in good spot I think. I have felt good about our offense for the last three games. We have had double digit hits in the last three games. I am excited about where this could go.”
Left-hander Chris Nunn made his first start of the season for the Bisons. He gave up three hits and two runs while walking three and striking out five in 4.1 innings. Left-hander Alex Ross came on in relief and shut down Youngstown on three hits. He walked three and struck six for his first win of the season.
“I could be more proud of Chris as a freshman and what he did,” Forehand said. “I was hoping he could get two more outs so he might be in line for a win. He pitched great. Chris did exactly what we needed him to do.
“Alex came in and had his best outing of the year. They were both great. We had stretched our bullpen out. We play five games a week four times this year. This is the first one. Nunn is going to have to pitch for us some in the fifth games.”
The Bisons opened with two runs in the first inning. Tyler Wilson singled to left center and M.L. Williams walked. Williams stole second and Wilson stole third. They both scored when Zach Messer singled up the middle.
Youngstown State scored two runs in the third to tie the game when Jacke Healey hit a two-run, two-out homer over the left field fence.
The Bisons answered with two runs of their own in the bottom of the third. Messer reached base on a one-out single to second. Cory Hale doubled to center to score Messer. With two outs Ryan Wilkins reached base on a throwing error by the third baseman which allowed Hale to score.
The Bisons added three more in the fourth and one in the sixth.
Tyler Wilson led the way with three hits from the lead-off spot, including an RBI triple to right center in the fourth inning.
“Hopefully, Tyler can keep setting the table, stealing a base and causing offense,” Forehand said. “When we do get our offense going like that we are hard to stop.”
Williams, Messer and Wilkins each had two hits. Messer and Hale each had two RBI.
Messer has a five-game hitting streak. He has multiple hits in three games. He leads the team in multi-RBI games with three.
“Zach has not walked one this year,” Forehand said. “He is going to be in there swinging the bat. Sometimes it doesn’t work out. That is the situation we are going to have to deal with because he is a run producer.”
The Bisons head to the East Coast Friday, Saturday and Sunday to participate in the Caravelle Classic in Myrtle Beach, S.C. They play Illinois Friday at 11 a.m. Saturday at 11 a.m. they face Michigan. At 4 p.m. Saturday they will play Ball State.
By Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations