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Tuesday, March 01, 2011Richie Goodenow’s eighth-inning, three-run home run capped an exciting comeback win for Lipscomb Tuesday, snapping a nine-game losing streak at Reese Smith Jr. Field by defeating Middle Tennessee State, 5-3.
Lipscomb, winners of three straight, improves to 6-3 overall while the loss drops Middle Tennessee to 1-7. The Bisons 6-3 start marks the school’s best start since opening the 2005 season 7-3.
With the Bisons down to their final five outs and trailing 3-1 in the eighth, the bats came alive once MTSU had to go to the bullpen. T.J. Hoelzer and M.L. Williams led off the inning with back-to-back singles off Blue Raider reliever Hunter Adkins. After Lee Wilson moved the runners to second and third on a sacrifice bunt, the hot-hitting Goodenow drove the first pitch he saw from Adkins over the right-field wall to give the Bisons a 4-3 lead.
“I don’t think Richie was necessarily looking for a home run in that situation, he was just trying to put a good swing on the ball,” Coach Jeff Forehand said.
“I thought they might pitch around him, but it’s one of those things where we had the right guy in the right spot and he turned on a pitch and drove it over the fence.”
The Bisons tacked on an insurance run in the top of the ninth when Henry scored on an RBI-single by Wilson. Henry reached base on a one-out single before moving into scoring position on M.L. Williams single up the middle.
Offensively, the top of the order (Williams, Wilson and Goodenow) accounted for driving in all five runs while scoring two of them. Williams, Wilson and Josh Chism led the Bisons with two hits apiece as LU outhit MTSU 10-8.
The Bisons got another outstanding performance out of their starting pitching Tuesday as sophomore left-hander Chris Nunn allowed two runs, one earned in a six-inning no-decision. The Memphis native, scattered four hits while striking out four and walking three.
After the sixth, the Bisons used four pitchers to get the next five outs before handing the ball to Gil Rehwinkel who threw the final 1.1 innings to notch his second save in as many chances.
Chad Fromm struck out one of the two batters he faced in the seventh to earn his first win of the season.
“We got a good quality start out of Chris Nunn and he kept us in the game with his solid six-innings of work,” Forehand said.
In addition, the coaching staff was pleased with how the bullpen responded late.
“We’ve been preaching about the bullpen all year and today we were able to make some moves and play matchups,” Forehand added.
Lipscomb returns to Ken Dugan Field this weekend as they will host Purdue out of the Big Ten Conference for a three-game series. Friday night’s game will start at 4 p.m., while Saturday and Sunday will be at 2 p.m. and 1 p.m., respectively.
“This weekend is another big weekend for our team but all of these early games are preparing us for the Atlantic Sun Conference season,” Forehand said. “Winning these close games early in the year against bigger schools is key for confidence and preparing us for the conference season.”