But Sunday afternoon the Lipscomb Bisons and Belmont Bruins closed out the baseball version of the “Battle of the Boulevard” with a combined 26 hits. The Bisons fell 8-7, but won the Atlantic Sun series 2-1 at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium.
Before the game the 1959 Bisons baseball team held a reunion. Then seven of the eight that attended threw out the ceremonial first ball. Those present were John McCord, Jim Bandy, Jerry Dugan, Ray Dickerson, Ken Griffith, Charlie Caudill, George Caudill and Fred Zapp.
The game was hampered by rain for most of the afternoon. After two innings the game was delayed for an hour due to rain.
Senior right-hander Brandon McClurg started for the Bisons. He threw two innings, giving up three hits and three runs, two earned. He also walked three batters.
After the rain delay Charles Williams took over on the mound. He threw four innings, scattering six hits. He also gave up four runs, all earned. He walked two batters.
Matt Bowling pitched two-thirds of an inning. He allowed one hit and one run, unearned. He walked one batter.
Kyle Tognazzini closed out the game for the Bisons. In 2.1 innings he gave up four hits, walked one and struck out one.
Tyler Wilson, Branden Cadavid, Justin Sanders and Antonio Butler each had two hits for the Bisons. Cadavid hit a home run to right field in the third inning, his first of the season.
Sanders was the big hitter with a triple and a home run. He tied with Cadavid for the RBI lead with two. Sanders has 10 home runs this season, placing him second on the team’s all-time list for the NCAA era. He also has five triples for the season, tying him with Brent Hastings for the team all-time lead. Hastings recorded five triples in 2002.
Wilson and Clay Lehning each had a double for the Bisons.
Both teams scored one run in the first inning and both scored two in the second. The score was tied 3-3 when the delay was called.
Belmont came back and scored one run in the third. But the Bisons answered with two to take a 5-4 lead. But Belmont roared back with two more in the fourth for a 6-5 lead.
Belmont added one run in the sixth and one more in the seventh.
The Bisons fought back in the seventh with two runs to pull within one of tying the game, but could not generate any additional scoring offense in the final two innings.
Cadavid led off the inning with a walk. Ryan Wilkins flied out to right field. Sanders followed with a triple to right center that scored Cadavid.
Dodd flied out to right center, earning the sacrifice as Sanders scored. Lehning was safe on a throwing error, but Logan Hostettler grounded out to second base to end the inning.
In both the eighth and ninth innings the Bisons got runners on base, but were set back by double plays both times.
The Bisons are 19-28 overall, 13-11 in the A-Sun. Belmont is 26-23, 15-12 in the conference.
Finals are underway at Lipscomb. The Bisons will be off until Friday, May 8, when they place Campbell in a doubleheader at 1 p.m. in the final A-Sun home series. The two teams will play Saturday, May 9, at 6.