Down 10-9 in the ninth inning Saturday at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium the Bisons opened the inning with a walk by Kyle Henry. He moved to second when Shawn Mehring was hit by a pitch. M.L. Williams sacrificed Henry and Mehring over one base each when he bunted to the pitcher. Tyler Wilson was intentionally walked to load the bases. Lee Wilson, the Bisons leading hitter, struck out. Cory Hale, who earlier in the game hit his 10th home run of the season, flied out to right field to end the game.
“We had our guys up,” Bisons coach Jeff Forehand said. “We would take that situation every time with Lee and Cory up. Their guy (Jack Waggoner) made some good pitches and got them out of the inning.”
The Bisons pounded 12 hits, led by Andrew Nickerson with three, two of them doubles. Tyler Wilson had a triple.
Tyler Wilson also stole his 29th base. He is only 10 stolen bases away from tying the all-time record of 39 set by Ted Jamison in 1971. Jamison is a member of the Lipscomb Athletics Hall of Fame.
Kyle Henry hit a three-run home run to right field in the third inning as the Bisons took a 7-6 lead. It was Henry’s sixth homer of the season.
The Bisons added one run in the seventh to take an 8-6 lead on an RBI-single by Williams to center field.
Florida Gulf Coast put four runs on the board in the eighth inning to take the lead, sparked by a three-run home run by Austin Gaines.
Hale’s round-tripper to left to open the bottom of the eighth pulled the Bisons to within one.
The Bisons used four pitchers. Alex Ross opened the game. In one inning he gave up four hits and five runs, three earned. He walked two and struck out one.
Mike Grace pitched five innings. He scattered four hits, but held Florida Gulf Coast to only one run. He walked two and struck out one.
Blake Fonfara faced on batter and left the game. Josh Cotham closed the game out with five hits and four runs, all earned, in three innings. He walked one and struck out three. He was credited with the loss, dropping his record to 0-2.
“I feel like we did some good things,” Forehand said. “I think we are playing pretty good. We just have to keep the momentum going.”
The Bisons, 13-23, 5-6 in the A-Sun, will get one more shot at conference-leading Florida Gulf Coast, 22-12, 13-4, at noon Sunday. Sophomore right-hander Davey Hackett, 3-3 with a 5.47 earned run average, will start for the Bisons.
“The game is different every time.” Forehand said. “Hopefully, we have our pitching set up. We will see how it works out.”
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.