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Friday, April 29, 2011Lee Wilson’s two-run walk-off double capped a three-run ninth inning as the Bisons rallied to edge Belmont, 9-8 in exciting fashion in game one of the storied “Battle of the Boulevard” at Ken Dugan Field Friday.
Lipscomb trailed 8-6 heading into the bottom of the ninth before rallying for three runs on four hits off Bruin closer Jon Ivie to earn the win in what was a see-saw game.
Richie Goodenow showed signs of fight and character after surrendering a two-run home run to Belmont’s Tim Egerton in the top of the ninth which gave the Bruins a two-run lead, by legging out a lead-off single in the bottom of the ninth to start the rally for the Bisons.
Following Goodenow’s single, Tennyson Dodd notched his fourth-hit of the evening with a single to right, putting runners on first and second with no outs. Shawn Mehring then singled to left-center and this is where things got interesting as Goodenow came all the way from second base and scored on the play as the throw from the outfield was lost in the lights by Belmont second-baseman Greg Brody who was hit in the face with ball and fell to the ground. After Brody was hit unexpectedly in the nose, the ball scooted away behind second base, thus allowing Goodenow to score and get the Bisons within one (8-7).
With Dodd at second and Mehring at first, Lee Wilson laced a one-out double deep into the gap in right-center allowing the Bisons to clear the bases and earn the walk-off come-from behind victory.
With the win, Lipscomb improves to 15-27 overall and 6-13 in the Atlantic Sun while the loss drops Belmont to 23-20 and 12-10 in league play.
The loss also snapped Belmont’s seven-game conference winning streak. The Bruins had not lost since falling to USC Upstate on April 9.
“I feel like there have been so many games where the ball hasn’t bounced our way,” head coach Jeff Forehand said. “I told the team before the game that I thought tonight was our turn.”
“Tonight’s game is not how you draw it up and how you would like to win the game, giving up two in the seventh, eighth, and ninth, and then coming back and getting three in the bottom of the ninth to win the game, but we will take it any way we can get it right now. We have got to enjoy this one.”
Friday night’s game remained scoreless until Belmont took a 2-0 lead after scoring two runs on three hits in the top of the third inning.
The Bisons scored its first run of the game in the bottom of the fourth as Dodd’s RBI-single through the left-side scored T.J. Hoelzer from third base. Hoelzer’s run was unearned as he reached base on a fielding error by Belmont first-baseman Nate Woods. Hoelzer advanced to third on the next at-bat as Goodenow doubled to the right-center gap before scoring on Dodd’s second hit of the night.
Lipscomb trailed 2-1 until the bottom of the fifth when the Bisons sent seven batters to the plate in a three-run fifth. Ricky Coleman, M.L. Williams and Dodd all had singles in the three-run fifth as the Bisons scored two of the three runs in the inning on a wild pitch and error from the catcher.
With the Bisons leading 4-2, Belmont tied the game at 4-4 with two unearned runs of their own in the top of the seventh.
The game remained tied at four a piece, for just a few minutes as the Bisons plated one run on two hits in the bottom of the seventh to take a 5-4 lead. The Bisons run in the seventh, once again came courtesy of Dodd, who notched his third hit in as many at-bats with an opposite field RBI-double, scoring Josh Chism from first.
With Lipscomb clinging to a 5-4 lead, Belmont retook the lead with two-runs on two hits in the top of the eighth to take 6-5 lead.
Once again, the Bisons countered with some timely hits in the bottom half of the eighth and tied the game at six as Lee Wilson scored on M.L. Williams clutch, two-out standup triple.
The game remained tied at 6-6 going into the ninth, but much like the previous innings, the bullpen from either team could not put the other team’s offense away.
Dodd paced the Bisons offense Friday, finishing 4-for-5 with 3 RBI and a run scored.
“We had been waiting on Tennyson to open up and do some things and he had some key RBI for us tonight,” Forehand said. “He had great at bats all night and had a base hit to get on base in the ninth.”
Coleman, Goodenow and Williams all finished with two hits.
Connor Sinclair allowed four runs, two earned on nine hits with one walk and five strikeouts in the seven-inning no-decision.
Once again, the coaching staff liked what they got out of Sinclair.
“Connor puts us in a position to win every single game,” Forehand stated. “ I think he would be the first one to tell you he didn’t have his great stuff tonight, but he battled us into the seventh inning and that is all we can ask him to do. He does it every time he goes out there.”
The Bisons and Bruins will return to Ken Dugan Field for game two of the storied “Battle of the Boulevard” on Saturday. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.
Lipscomb will send left-hander Blake Fonfara (2-2, 4.46 ERA) to the mound tomorrow to face Belmont’s Matt Hamann (5-1, 2.50 ERA).
“Hopefully this win tonight will be something we can springboard into the next games,” Forehand said.