NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Clicking in all phases of the game on Saturday afternoon, the Lipscomb baseball team downed Campbell 10-4 in Saturday afternoon’s non-conference, rubber game at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium in Nashville.
“It’s always exciting to see when we come back,” said Lipscomb skipper Jeff Forehand. “We gave up a bad first inning on Thursday night and then we play pretty flawless for 26 innings on defense. I’m proud of that.
“Our bats came alive a little bit. We followed the scheme and got back on some things we had talked about doing that we didn’t do early and didn’t do in the first game. They outplayed us in the first game but I feel like we came back and did a great job in game two and game three.”
The Camels (33-12) would get on the scoreboard first in the sun-drenched game manufacturing a run in the second inning before the Bisons (20-24) erupted for a five-inning fourth inning. Campbell starter Hector Cedano was near perfect through three allowing only a third-inning walk before Lipscomb senior left fielder M.L. Williams ripped a single to right field to open the fourth.
With the no-hit bid gone, Cedano then gave up a line-drive home run to left field by senior first baseman Zak Messer as the Bisons took a 2-1 lead on Messer’s team-best ninth home run of the season. Junior center fielder Zach Lowery followed right behind Messer with an infield single in the hole at shortstop before junior right fielder Ricky Coleman launched a ball in nearly the same spot as Messer to make it a 4-1 Lipscomb advantage.
That would do it for Cedano as the righty made an early exit but the Bisons were not through scoring in the frame. Junior shortstop Aaron Sandoval kept things going after being plunked with one away and then junior second baseman Jonathan Craycraft drew a walk to move Sandoval into scoring position. Junior catcher Taylor Stewart then loaded the bases becoming the second Bison of the inning to take a beaning from Campbell reliever Logan Self.
That set the table for senior designated hitter Shawn Mehring and the veteran delivered a fly ball to right field that was deep enough to bring Sandoval home on the sacrifice fly making it a 5-1 lead for LU.
Campbell responded quickly with a two-run top of the fifth to cut the lead to 5-3 ending Lipscomb junior southpaw Blake Fonfara’s day on the hill. The Bisons stretched the lead back to three runs in the bottom of the stanza however as freshman third baseman Tyson Ashcraft singled home Coleman, who had singled earlier in the frame and advanced to second on the tail end of a double steal attempt that was not successful.
The 6-3 score held until the seventh inning when the Bisons got a two-out rally going that was started off by a pinch-hit double down the right field line by junior Gray Hutchinson. A Sandoval single brought Hutchinson in to score and then Sandoval made it an 8-3 advantage when he came home on a double into the left field gap by Craycraft.
Another two-out rally fueled from walks by Messer and Lowery saw LU put two more tallies on the board in the eighth inning. The Bisons got the first run when Coleman drove in his third run of the game with a single that scored Mehring and then Hutchinson singled to center field plating Lowery and making it a double digit contest.
A dropped fly ball would lead to a run for the Camels in the ninth but senior reliever Gil Rehwinkel making his third appearance of the week managed to shut Campbell down with just the one unearned run scored in the ninth.
Redshirt-freshman Hunter Brothers picked up his first collegiate win in relief of Fonfara. The righty worked two and two-thirds innings allowing two hits and two walks keeping the Camels off the scoreboard. Rehwinkel replaced Brothers to start the eighth and went the final two frames allowing one unearned run and one hit while fanning a pair.
The Bisons return to Atlantic Sun Conference play with a key home series against Florida Gulf Coast at Dugan Field. The three-game set begins on Friday night at 6 p.m. followed by a 6 p.m. contest on Saturday night before the series concluded on Sunday at 11:30 a.m.