May 21, 2008
DELAND, Fla. _ Life is good in the Florida sunshine for the Lipscomb Bisons baseball team.
The Bisons opened the 30th annual Atlantic Sun Conference Baseball Championships with a 14-0 win over Campbell Wednesday morning here at Melching Field at Conrad Park, the home field of the Stetson Hatters.
The Bisons, the No.1-seed, pounded 17 hits while holding Campbell, the No. 6-seed to only two hits.
The 14-0 gap was the second largest in the history of the A-Sun Tournament in a shutout win. The record is held by Georgia Southern which beat Stetson 18-0 in 1987.
The win was also the first in A-Sun Tournament history for the Bisons. Last season they lost 4-3 to Stetson and 4-1 to Gardner-Webb. Heading into Wednesday's game the Bisons were the only current A-Sun baseball team to have never won a game in the conference tournament.
The Bisons 14 runs are a season-high, besting the 13 runs scored April 1 against Middle Tennessee State in a 13-6 victory. The 13 runs batted in by the team also are a new season high. The Bisons twice had 12 RBI in a game this season against Belmont March 1 and Middle Tennessee April 1.
The Bisons jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Shortstop Jorge Gutierrez grounded out to open the inning. Center fielder Allen Bolden singled through the right side of the infield. Catcher Caleb Joseph and left fielder Blake Bratcher both walked to load the bases. That set the stage for a line drive shot to deep center by designated hitter Justin Sanders that cleared the bases. Sanders tried to stretch his double to triple and was thrown out on the attempt.
The Bisons scored five more runs in the second inning. Third baseman Branden Cadavid lead off with a ground ball single into left field. He advanced to second on a bunt single that Campbell pitcher Ryan Hamme was unable to field. Gutierrez flied out on a bunt attempt to third.
Bolden reached on a fielder's choice as Williams was out at second. Campbell attempted the double play but Campbell shortstop Zach Johnson threw the ball wide to first. Cadavid scored on the play.
Joseph singled to left field. Bolden scored second, sliding at home to beat the tag from catcher Stephen Parsons. Bratcher followed with a single to right field that scored Joseph.
Sanders, facing a 3-2 count, picked up two more RBI when he slammed a home run over the 335-foot mark down the right field line which also brought Bratcher home.
With two out in the fourth inning Joseph reached base on an error by Campbell third baseman John Watlington. Joseph then stole second. Bratcher doubled to left center to send Joseph home.
Joseph welcomed Campbell reliever Josh Fish by blasting the first pitch he threw more than 400 feet over the left-center field fence for a three-run home run, his 15th of the season.
Brothers started on the mound for the Bisons. He had a no-hitter through 6 1/3 innings. Campbell's Brandon Scott rapped a single to shallow right field. Junior right-hander Charles Williams came on in relief and held Campbell to one hit and no runs to close out the game.
Brothers struck out five and walked two. Charles Williams struck out one and walked one.
Tournament notes: The Bisons are only the second A-Sun baseball team in 13 years to improve from the sixth seed to the first seed the next season. ...The temperature at game time was in the mid-80s with a brisk wind and had reach 90 by the end of the game.