Heading into Sunday’s 2 p.m. game with Bradley at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen Lee Marsh Stadium, the Bisons are 2-1. Last season the Bisons did not get their second win until March 5 when they beat Canisius 7-1. The first win of the season was a 4-3 decision at Tennessee Martin March 3, the seventh game of the season.
“You don’t ever want to compare seasons, but last year it took us forever to get to two wins,” Lipscomb coach Jeff Forehand said. “After we won that first game you could see how our team loosened up.
“They were having fun. The game just got easier. You could see the energy take off after we came back and won the Bradley game.”
The Bisons bats came alive against Dayton. They scored at least one run in every inning except the eighth, including nine in the sixth.
Center fielder Ricky Coleman collected a game-high four hits, tying his career high.
Designated hitter Richie Goodenow and shortstop T.J. Hoelzer each had three hits. Hoelzer drove in a game-high six runs which is also a career high. Goodenow had two doubles.
The Bisons pounded out 21 hits, including seven doubles, against four Dayton pitchers.
“The bats came alive against Dayton,” Forehand said. “We work on that offense. We didn’t get it going Friday or in the first game today.”
Williams, Lee Wilson, Colman and Hoelzer each had a stolen base.
Right-hander Dannie Strable started the game and threw six innings. He scattered six hits and allowed two runs, one earned. He struck out two and walked two on the way to the win. Left-hander Blake Fonfara, left-hander Chris Nunn and right-hander Chris Orphanos each pitched a hitless and scoreless inning in relief. Orphanos, making his collegiate debut, struck out two of the three batters he faced.
The loss dropped Dayton to 1-2.
The Bisons rallied in the bottom of the 13th for a 4-3 win over Bradley.
Right-hander Mike Grace came on in relief and pitched 5.2 innings to pick up the win Saturday afternoon.
Trailing 3-2 the Bisons opened the 13th with a walk by Lee Wilson. Tennyson Dodd was hit by a pitch. Shawn Mehring reached base on an error by the second baseman. Wilson scored on the error to tie the game again at 3-3.
Zach Messer singled to right field to bring Dodd home with the winning run.
The Bisons opened the game with a run in the first inning. M.L. Williams led off with a double and went to third on a throwing error. Williams scored when Dodd grounded out to second base.
Bradley scored a pair of runs in the eighth to take a 2-1 lead. But the Bisons answered in the bottom of the inning with a run to tie the game. Williams doubled for the second time to lead off an inning, this time through the left side. Williams moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Wilson. He scored on a sacrifice fly to center field by Dodd.
Bradley took a 3-2 lead with a run in the top of the 13th, setting the stage for the rally by the Bisons.
Right-hander Connor Sinclair started for the Bisons. He scattered five hits, struck out seven and walked one in seven scoreless innings.
Right-hander Josh Chism pitched one-third of an inning in relief. He walked four and gave up one hit while allowing both runs in the eighth.
“Chism has good stuff, but he just couldn’t locate his pitches,” Forehand said. “Hopefully, he will have another chance Sunday.”
Grace struck out seven, walked two and allowed three hits and one run on the way to the win.
“I came in thinking I was going to get two outs,” Grace said. “The whole season we have been talking about playing match-ups and using as many pitchers as we need to get the job done.”
Grace started a few games last season, but has been used primarily as a reliever.
“I just think the key is you can’t be nervous when you are out there,” Grace said. “Sometimes pitchers get over amped about it. I was starting to wear down a little bit, but the hitters picked me up in the last inning.
“I think I do better out of the pen than I do starting. As a reliever you have to be ready every day. Relieving is where I will best fit in if the team is going to succeed.”
Williams had a pair of doubles to lead the Bisons. Wilson also had a double for the Bisons.
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.