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Kennesaw State (19-12, 8-2 A-Sun)
Lipscomb (13-17, 6-4 A-Sun)
4/6/2012 | Nashville, Tenn. | Attendance: 0
Kennesaw State (19-13, 8-3 A-Sun)
Lipscomb (14-17, 7-4 A-Sun)
4/6/2012 | Nashville, Tenn. | Attendance: 421
Friday, April 06, 2012
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It took a walk-off, infield single by senior left fielder M.L. Williams in the bottom of the ninth of game two, but the Lipscomb baseball team rallied for an Atlantic Sun Conference doubleheader split against Kennesaw State taking the nightcap 2-1 after falling 6-2 in game one on Friday afternoon at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium in Nashville.
Having been blanked by Kennesaw State (19-13, 8-3 A-Sun) southpaw starter Zak Griffith for seven innings, Lipscomb (14-17, 7-4 A-Sun) finally got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the eighth when junior centerfielder Zach Lowery crushed a Justin McCalvin (1-1) pitch over the left field fence answering the run the Owls had plated in the top half of the inning.
“It was a great team win today with us being able to come back,” said Lipscomb head coach Jeff Forehand. “They got a run late and we matched it and then we were able to win it in the ninth. Zak’s big home run in the eight was the pivotal point of the game. If we go into the ninth having to get one and not being tied, that’s a little bit tougher.“
With the game tied 1-1, the Bison used the final frame to salvage the day. Freshman third baseman Tyson Ashcraft got the inning off to a good start with a solid single to left. Coach Forehand then pinch hit sophomore Aaron Spragg looking to sacrifice Ashcraft into scoring position but KSU reliever Just McCalvin could not find the strike zone and walked Spragg on four-straight pitches.
With two on and no outs, the Bison tried to move the runners up but a bunt to the third base side of the mound resulted in Ashcraft being forced out at third and senior designated hitter Shawn Mehring reaching on a fielder’s choice. Junior right fielder Lee Wilson then roped a single to shallow left field but freshman Joey Cecere, who pinch ran for Spragg, was gunned down at the plate for the second out of the stanza.
That left it up to Williams with the runners on the corners and the senior delivered in non-routine fashion with a chopper between third base and shortstop that KSU shortstop Peyton Hart fielded deep in the hole. Hart planted and fired to first but the throw pulled Andy Chriscaden off the bag at first and Mehring came across the dish for the 2-1 victory for Lipscomb.
Senior southpaw Gil Rehwinkel (3-2) picked up the win in the nightcap tossing the final one and one-thirds innings allowing only a hit. Lipscomb junior lefty Blake Fonfara was superb in his best start of the season going six innings allowing only a bloop single and four walks while fanning six Owls.
“Blake had his best start of the year,” said Forehand. “We matched them because they really pitched well.”
Junior right-hander Tyler Burstrom also made an appearance for the Bison allowing the one run on a pair of hits and a walk in the eighth inning.
Game one saw the Bison get going right out of the gate as senior second baseman Zak Messer and freshman first baseman Griffin Moore ripped two-out singles to get things going for Lipscomb. Lowery then brought both runners home with a single up the middle as Messer had reached third on Moore’s hit and Moore had moved up to second on the throw in the previous at bat.
That would be all the damage that the Bison could muster against KSU senior starter Josh Carr, who improved to 7-1 going the distance for the Owls. Carr allowed only four more hits the rest of the way and one walk as he kept the Lipscomb offense at bay.
“We lost our approach a little bit in the first game,” said Forehand. You have to give them a lot of credit. They really can pitch.”
Lipscomb senior righty Connor Sinclair (4-2) took the loss after a five-run fifth inning that gave the Owls all the cushion they would need. Sinclair lasted six and one thirds innings allowing five earned runs, five hits and a trio of walks while striking out seven.
With Friday’s split, the two teams battle for the series win on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. at Dugan Field. Tickets are $5 for adults ages 13 and up and free for those ages 12 and under.