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Jacksonville (17-34, 6-16 A-Sun)
Lipscomb (23-26, 12-10 A-Sun)
5/11/2012 | Nashville, Tenn. | Attendance: 562
Friday, May 11, 2012
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – For the second-straight Friday night, the Lipscomb baseball team walked off of Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium with a win in their last at bat with a 7-6 Atlantic Sun Conference win over Jacksonville.
The Bisons (23-26, 12-10 A-Sun) had to mount a four-run comeback in the bottom of the ninth after Jacksonville (17-34, 6-16 A-Sun) erupted for a four-run eighth and tacked on a pair of runs in the top of the ninth.
“It always seems like we make it more difficult on ourselves than we need to,” said Lipscomb head coach Jeff Forehand. “Connor just pitched his guts out tonight. I think with Walker coming up in that situation, if I had it to do over again I probably would change but Connor’s our horse and I trust him with everything. I wanted him to stay in there.
“But us coming back in the ninth inning was huge. For us to come back and get four in the bottom of the ninth is just a great win for us.”
Trailing 6-3 and down to the final three outs, the Bisons got things going with one out when junior third baseman Gray Hutchinson drew a full-count walk. Back-to-back singles by junior catcher Taylor Stewart and junior right fielder Lee Wilson loaded the bases for senior designated hitter Shawn Merhing.
Mehring managed to cut the lead to 6-4 on a ground out to third but the Dolphins were able to get the senior at first for the second out of the inning. With the pressure mounting on JU reliever Sean Green, Lipscomb senior left fielder M.L. Williams made it an even tighter game as he delivered an infield single that brought Stewart home to score and make it a one-run contest.
With the bases still juiced, senior second baseman Zak Messer singled to right tying the game at six. Junior center fielder Zach Lowery then got the chance to be the hero having already launched his sixth blast of the season earlier in the contest in the sixth. Lowery stepped to the plate and pulled a 1-1 pitch down the third base line. JU’s Alex McRae made the long throw across the diamond but first baseman Jimmy Appleby was unable to hang on to the throw and Williams scooted across the dish for the game-winning run marking the first time in 22 tries that the Bisons have won when trailing after eight innings.
Lipscomb led for the first eight innings after scoring lone runs in the second, fifth and six innings. Senior right-hander Connor Sinclair was in cruise control until the eighth inning when the veteran ran into trouble. After allowing a trio of hits and a run to cross the dish, Sinclair had to face A-Sun Preseason Player of the Year Adam Brett Walker and Walker gave the Dolphins new life with a three-run blast over the left field fence.
Bisons senior closer Gil Rehwinkel (6-2) came on to finish the eighth and ran into trouble of his own in the ninth allowing a pair of runs to cross the dish but picked up the win as LU came back. Rewinkel earned the win tossing one and two-thirds innings allowing two earned runs and two hits. He also walked two and fanned a pair.
Green took the loss on the hill for Jacksonville giving up three earned runs, four hits and a walk in the ninth.
The two teams battle again on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. as the Bisons host “Ken Dugan Day”. Admission is free for the contest that features the presentation of the “Ken Dugan Award” in a pregame ceremony.