Tyler and his younger brother Lee lead the Bisons in hitting. Lee, a freshman right fielder, is batting .397 and is No.1. Tyler, a .senior center fielder, is second with a .333 average.
The Bisons, 7-18, are taking a break from Atlantic Sun games this weekend to play host to Illinois State, 12-10, at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium. Game time Friday night is at 6. Saturday’s doubleheader starts at noon.
Illinois State’s Redbirds, from the Missouri Valley Conference, won 13-8 over Illinois Tuesday. The Bisons lost 21-20 at Middle Tennessee State Wednesday night. The Bisons set season highs for runs (20), hits (22) and runs batted in (16).
Lee has an 11-game hitting streak on the line. M.L. Williams put together an 11-game streak earlier in the season. Lee and Tyler are tied with Zach Messer for the team lead in multi-hit games with 10.
“The Wilsons are two guys who are just baseball players,” Forehand said. “They are hungry. They force action. They play hard. They expect to produce in every situation. They expect to do well.”
Tyler came to the Lipscomb after spending two seasons at Itawamba Community College. Lee joined the team out of Wheeler High School in Wheeler, Miss.
“One is hitting first and one is hitting third for us,” Forehand said. “I never really expected that out of either of them and they have proven me wrong.”
In addition to his hitting Tyler is also a base stealer with 20 thefts on 23 attempts. He led the Atlantic Sun Conference in steals last season.
Forehand finds it difficult to explain their success.
“They have great instincts,” Forehand said. “They were very solid players growing up with success on every level where they have played. In their minds there was no reason why they couldn’t do it at the Division I level.
“Neither one of them was highly recruited at all. They were just guys who wanted an opportunity. It is a tribute to how they practice and how they prepare.”
Forehand thinks that Tyler has become a more aggressive hitter this season due to the influence of Lee.
“Lee has shown that he has some punch to his swing,” Forehand said. “Tyler is a switch-hitter and a little better runner than Lee. Tyler has typically been more of a slap hitter and has developed into a really good bunter.
“Tyler has challenged Lee in that way too. Lee has several bunt hits this year as well. Their swings are similar. They have some of the same tendencies. Overall they just challenge each other to be better.”
The Bisons plan to open with right-hander Josh Smith (4-1, 3.83 ERA) Friday. Forehand is not certain who will start the first game of the doubleheader Saturday, but he will send right-hander Davey Hackett (1-3, 7.20) to the mound in the nightcap.
“Every team we play is going to be good,” Forehand said. “We are in for another challenge this weekend.
“We need to get some momentum. The second game has been our momentum game. After Josh pitches well on Friday we seem to be going down early in the second game and when we do that we can’t fight back. We have been swept in all of our doubleheaders on Saturdays.”
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.