Despite cold weather punctuated by periods of rain he Bisons prevailed 8-2 Saturday afternoon in their home opener against Bradley at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium. The two teams plan to play a doubleheader Sunday beginning at noon.
It was the first win for the Bisons after losing four games on the road.
“It was fun to win and get on the right track after four tough ones,” said Lipscomb coach Jeff Forehand.
Junior left-hander Rex Brothers, 1-1, earned his first win of the season as he struck out 11 batters in six innings. He shut down Bradley in the first five innings on one hit. He gave up two hits and two runs, one earned in the sixth.
This was the final tune-up for Brothers before starting next weekend in the first Atlantic Sun series at Mercer. Approximately 30 scouts were in attendance to watch Brothers on the mound.
“The conditions weren’t very good, but it was good to see Rex get back out there,” said Forehand. “He pitched really well.”
Freshman Josh Cotham pitched the seventh inning, allowing only one hit. He struck out two batters.
Senior Kyle Tognazzini closed out the game with two scoreless innings. He gave up one hit and struck out one.
“A freshman, Josh Cotham, came in and held it for us in the seventh and gave it to Togs,” said Forehand. “That’s what we have been preaching. We were able to play to our scheme.”
Designated hitter Justin Sanders had a game-high four hits, including a double and home run. He also had a game-high in runs batted in with three.
The Bisons finished with 11 hits. Sanders was the only Lipscomb player to have a multiple-hit game, but center fielder Allen Bolden and first baseman Tennyson Dodd each had a double.
“Justin has a good bat,” said Forehand. “He has a lot of power. This year one of the biggest things is he is not getting himself out by swinging at off-speed pitches in the dirt. He is putting himself in a spot to get some good pitches.”
The Bisons opened with a run in the first inning. With one out Bolden doubled. Sanders followed with a single to score Bolden.
In the fifth Sanders hit a solo home run to left field with one out to give the Bisons a 2-0 lead.
Tyler Wilson drove in two runs on a single in the sixth inning. Shortstop Branden Cadavid led off with a single. Second baseman Brad Gooch walked. Right fielder Channing Brown loaded the bases on a throwing error by the third baseman. Wilson singled to send Cadavid and Gooch home.
The Bisons added another run in the seventh and three in the eighth. Sanders, Wilkins and third baseman Clay Lehning each had an RBI in the inning.