April 27, 2007
A record 1,226 fans packed Ken Dugan Field Friday for the 104th Battle of the Boulevard between the Lipscomb Bisons and the Belmont Bruins. Unfortunately for Lipscomb fans, the Bruins scored the first four runs of the game in the top of the second and the Bisons were not able to come back falling 4-3.
Rex Brothers took the mound for the Bisons with a record of 7-1. The freshman's only loss of the season was seventy-six days earlier in his first start of the season against Evansville.
"We knew coming into today that second place will come down to this series," Brothers said. "The game of baseball is great because each game could be an up or down game."
Brothers struggled early in the game with control problems. Derek Wiley led off the inning with a walk and then advanced to third on two consecutive wild pitches. After a Ben Petsch walk, Kane Simmons singled in a run. Carlo Testa loaded the bases with another single. Brady Maniford then singled in two runs. Two batters latter, the leadoff hitter Matt Reynolds batted in a run on a sacrifice fly line drive to left field.
"Rex Brothers has pitched himself out of trouble multiple times this season," Lipscomb Coach Jeff Forehand said. "He got in a little trouble, but we should be able to hit and score enough runs to overcome one bad inning."
In the sixth, the Bisons placed two runners on the base path when Casey Bond singled to start the inning followed by a Justin Sanders walk. Brandon Cadavid advanced the runners a base with a perfectly placed sacrifice bunt on which he almost reached safely. Andrew Nickerson then grounded out to third base allowing Casey Bond to score.
Lipscomb struck again in the next frame. Shane Simpkins doubled to right center to start the inning. Ben Meador then replaced Belmont starter Charles Lee and promptly got two outs on the board. Casey Bonds singled through the left side scoring Simpkins.
The Bisons had multiple opportunities to place more runs on the board. They left eleven runners on the base paths.
Rex Brothers pitched 7 innings giving up four earned runs off of eight hits and two walks. Brothers struck out three falling to 7-2 with a 3.82 earned run average. Chris Burnett threw two innings of perfect relief. He struck out four including the side in the top of the ninth.
Charles Lee pitched six innings allowing three runs, two earned, off of five hits and four walks. Ben Meador threw two perfect innings of relief striking out two and giving up two hits and one walk. Chris Manning closed the game for his ninth save of the season.
Lipscomb leads the Battle of the Boulevard series 65-39.
Lipscomb falls to 25-19 overall and 9-7 in Atlantic Sun play. Belmont improves to 25-18 overall and 12-7 in conference play.
The Bisons are back in action Saturday at 6 p.m. in game two of the three game series against the Belmont Bruins. Lipscomb closes out the Battle of the Boulevard series at Ken Dugan field Sunday at 1 p.m.
Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. in Lipscomb's Ezell Center, Roy Pardue will be inducted into the Lipscomb Athletic Hall of Fame. For seventeen years Coach Pardue served as the highly-regarded pitching coach for the Bisons under Head Coach Ken Dugan. Dinner will be served. The cost is $10.00 and the dress for the event is casual.
Belmont040 000 000 - 4 9 1
Lipscomb000 101 100 - 3 7 0
Lee, Meador (7) and Manning (9). Brothers and Burnett (8). W- Lee 7-1, L- Brothers 7-2. Sv: Manning (9). HR- BEL: None, LIP: None