BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Notching the first extra-innings win of the season, the Lipscomb baseball team rallied to down homestanding Western Kentucky 7-6 in 11 innings at Nick Denes Field in Bowling Green, Ky. on Tuesday night.
The Hilltoppers (17-24) wasted no time getting on the scoreboard plating three runs on Lipscomb (18-23) starter Davey Hackett in the first. The Bisons answered right back in the top of the second with a run to get on the scoreboard. Junior right fielder Ricky Coleman was beaned by WKU starter Ian Tompkins and then moved into scoring position on a balk by Tompkins. That set the table for junior shortstop Aaron Sandoval, who ripped a double into the left center gap to open the scoring for Lipscomb.
“There were a lot of good things tonight,” said Lipscomb head coach Jeff Forehand. “I’m proud of the way we fought back after we go down early in the first inning. The bullpen gave us five and two-thirds innings scoreless and that was huge.”
Lipscomb would then plate a pair of runs in the fourth to draw even with the Hilltoppers behind another two-out rally. It would be Coleman and Sandoval again that would get things going. Coleman delivered a single through the left side and Sandoval hit a 0-2 pitch the other way to right to keep the inning going.
That set the table for junior second baseman Jonathan Craycraft making his first start since Feb. 26 against Kent State. Craycraft stepped up and roped a double down the right field line plating both Coleman and Sandoval to make it a 3-3 contest.
The tie was short lived however, as WKU answered right back with a two-run bottom of the frame ending Hackett’s day on the hill and putting the Hilltoppers back in front 5-3.
The Bisons would answer right back in the fifth as Tompkins got into trouble quickly by issuing back-to-back walks to Shawn Mehring and M.L. Williams to open the inning. Senior first baseman Zak Messer singled through the left side to pull LU within a run at 5-4 as Mehring scored. A wide throw to the plate allowed Williams and Messer to move up into scoring position and the duo would come home on another two-out single by Sandoval to put the Bisons in front 6-5.
The Hilltoppers would pull even with a run in the sixth and then threaten in the eighth but a throw from Coleman nailed Blake Crabtree at the plate to end the inning and send the tie game to the ninth.
That throw would be key as the game would head to extra innings where the Bisons would retake the lead in the top of the 11th. Junior catcher Taylor Stewart, who came on as a defensive replacement in the ninth, led off the frame with a sharp single to left field and then moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. Mehring then dropped down a two-strike bunt to move Stewart 90 feet from home.
That set the table for Williams and he delivered a rocket back up the middle off WKU reliever Brennan Pearson’s glove and into center field for an RBI single giving the Bison the lead.
Senior southpaw Gil Rehwinkel picked up the win in relief tossing three innings allowing one hit and one walk to earn his fourth win of the season. Rehwinkel gave up a leadoff single in the eighth and an intentional walk but then retired nine straight to secure the win for Lipscomb
The Bisons return home on Thursday hosting a three-game series against non-conference foe Campbell at Dugan Field. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. The Bisons will collect used clothing items for the Thriftsmart organization at all three games.