LEXINGTON, KY. – Senior first baseman Ryan Wilkins hit a pair of home runs as the Lipscomb Bisons defeated the Kentucky Wildcats 10-8 Wednesday evening at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Lipscomb has won seven straight against the Wildcats. The Bisons’ last and only loss to Kentucky came in 1971.
Wilkins put Lipscomb (17-31) on the board in the first with a two-run shot to left field. He drove in M.L. Williams who extended his hit streak to 13 games, a team season high, with an infield single to the short stop.
Kentucky (26-23) took their only lead of the game, 3-2, after their first six batters reached base off Lipscomb starter Matt Bowling. With the bases loaded and no outs, Bowling induced a double-play getting the lead runner out at home and then a groundout to the first baseman.
In the third inning Wilkins gave the Bisons a 5-3 lead when nailed his second home run down the left field line.
Centerfielder Tyler Wilson had a sacrifice fly in the fourth scoring Kyle Henry to expand Lipscomb’s lead to three runs. Henry reached base on a throwing error by the third baseman. Kentucky recouped the run in the bottom of the inning on a sacrifice fly.
Third baseman Zach Messer opened the fifth inning with a home run to left center. Kentucky once again cut the Bisons lead back to two in the bottom of the inning. After a pickoff attempt by Bowling went to the right of Wilkins at first allowing the base runners to advance to second and third, Marcus Nidiffer singled to left field scoring the lead runner.
Left-hander Alex Ross replaced Bowling on the bump with no outs and runners on the corners. Ross struck out the first two batters he faced and then induced an infield pop out.
Ross (2-3) received the win for his performance.
In the sixth Lipscomb took a 10-5 lead with a double by Lee Wilson followed by singles by Tyler Wilson and Williams.
Freshman lefty Chris Nunn replaced Ross in the sixth and retired the first six batters he faced. Nunn encountered a jam in the eighth inning allowing three hits and giving up a walk to the first five batters. The Bisons almost got out of the inning with only giving up two runs, but Andy Burns beat out a throw to complete a double play which allowed the third run of the inning to score and make it a 10-8 game.
The Bisons loaded the bases in the ninth with one out before T.J. Hoelzer grounded into a force and Henry struck out.
Josh Cotham (1) earned the save pitching a scoreless ninth for the Bisons.
Starter Sam Kidd (1-2) took the loss for Kentucky giving up seven runs, six earned, in four innings of work.
The Bisons are back in action Thursday evening when they open a three-game set against Mercer at Ken Dugan Field. First pitch is at 6 p.m. and the Ken Dugan Award will be presented prior to the game.
Benjamin Seamon and John Higgins will have the call for the Lipscomb Sports Network and ASun.TV.