JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Pounding out 11 hits on the afternoon, the Lipscomb baseball team claimed the Atlantic Sun Conference road series against Jacksonville behind a 12-3 victory on Sunday at John Sessions Stadium in Jacksonville.
With the win, the Bisons (21-31, 10-14 A-Sun) move into sole possession of seventh place in the conference standings with one week remaining in the regular season. With an expanded field this season, eight teams will earn berths in the 2013 A-Sun Championship hosted in Deland, Fla., May 22-26. The victory also gives Lipscomb a two-game lead over Jacksonville (17-33, 8-15 A-Sun) as well as the highly important tiebreaker. The Bisons also hold a two-game cushion over USC-Upstate, who is just ahead of Jacksonville in eighth.
To secure a postseason berth, Lipscomb needs to win one game of next weekend’s three-game home series with Kennesaw State.
Sunday’s contest saw both teams get on the scoreboard in the first inning with the squads plating a run each. Junior designated hitter Drew Adams got the two-out rally going by singling back up the middle before coming home to score on a double by sophomore first baseman Tyson Ashcraft.
The 1-1 tie held until the fourth inning when the Bisons put up a four-run frame to take the lead for the first time in the contest. Ashcraft got things started by reaching on a dropped throw by the JU first baseman before junior left fielder Chad Shannon doubled down the left field line to put two Bisons in scoring position.
A wild pitch moved both runners up 90 feet as Ashcraft scooted across the plate and then senior center fielder Zach Lowery singled up the middle driving in Shannon from third. A walk by senior third baseman Gray Hutchinson and fellow classmate Lee Wilson loaded the bases. Veteran catcher Taylor Stewart then got beaned to bring Lowery home to score before Adams made it a 5-1 lead with an infield single that scored Hutchinson.
The Dolphins would answer back with a two-run sixth to make it a two-run game at 5-3 but Lipscomb used a six-run eighth to put the game and series away.
Lowery and Hutchinson started off the eighth with a bang as the duo hit back-to-back homers to open the stanza. The Bisons then loaded the bases when Austin Sistrunk walked, Stewart reached on error and Adams drew a free pass. That set the table for senior shortstop Aaron Sandoval and the veteran continued his hot hitting with a single that scored both Sistrunk and Stewart for his sixth and seventh RBIs of the series.
Ashcraft then added to the cushion with a two-RBI single of his own bringing home Adams and Sandoval. The Bisons rounded out the scoring in the ninth as Lowery led off the frame with a double and then came in to score on a single through the left side by Wilson.
Lipscomb redshirt sophomore Will Blalock picked up the win tossing 5.1 innings. The righty gave up three earned runs , nine hits and a pair of walks while fanning three Dolphins. The Bisons bullpen then combined to allow just one hit and three walks over the final 4.2 innings.
The Bisons step out of A-Sun play for the final time on Tuesday night with a 6 p .m. contest at Tennessee Tech.