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Tuesday, March 18, 2008
March 18, 2008
In front of a record crowd of 1,414, the Bisons achieved another first by defeating the University of Tennessee for the first time in the teams' five total meetings.
The former record was set last season when Belmont came to Ken Dugan Field was 1,226.
The Vols struck first plating a run in the first against Bisons' starter, Josh Smith. However, it did not take Lipscomb long to respond, with Blake Bratcher scoring on a passed ball in the bottom of the second inning.
Tennessee got the run back in the top of the third on an RBI single by Shawn Griffin.
Meanwhile, despite walking four and hitting two Vols batters with pitches, Smith gave the Bisons a solid performance, going six innings while giving up just two runs on five hits while striking out seven.
Smith was relieved by right-hander Charles Williams to start the seventh. After getting a 1-2-3 inning in the seventh, Williams got into some trouble in the eighth. With runners on first and third and no outs, Jeff Lockwood hit a single to center that looked almost certain to bring home the go ahead run for the Vols. However, Bisons centerfielder, Allen Bolden fired a strike to catcher, Joseph, who applied the tag for the out.
"It changed the game," Bolden said. "They came in and brought who they thought was their best pitcher for the situation, and we were able to score. If they had of been one run up it might have been a different game. It just changed the momentum of the game and we took advantage of it."
One out later, right-hander, Kyle Tognazzini was brought in with runners on second and third. After he hit the first batter he faced, he got Alan Wright to look at a called third strike for the final out of the inning.
"It was great for his confidence," Bolden said of Tognazzini. "He's a bulldog he fights on the mound. That's what you've got to have when you're facing good SEC teams."
The Bisons made the Vols pay for their missed opportunities in the bottom of the inning when with one out, Shane Simpkins singled to center to give the Bisons their first lead of the night.
"It was a 1-2 breaking ball, pretty good pitch," Simpkins said. "It caught a lot of the plate and I was able to get the barrel on the ball and hit it in the right spot."
However, the Bisons offense didn't stop there. With two outs, Bolden added an RBI single, while Joseph added to the lead with a two-run double to give the Bisons a 6-2 lead.
Tennessee attempted a rally in the top of the ninth, scoring two runs, but that is was close as they would come.
Tognazzini earned the win to improve his record to 1-0. Burnett recorded the save, his second of the season.
The Bisons will take on another SEC opponent when they face Vanderbilt University tomorrow, March 19, at 6 p.m.