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Tuesday, April 12, 2011M.L. Williams’ third-inning towering grand-slam broke open a 5-1 game as the Bisons cruised to 13-3 victory over Alabama A&M at Ken Dugan Field Tuesday.
The game was called with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning as both coaches agreed on a 10-run rule before the game.
Lipscomb (12-21) scored two runs in each of the first two innings before breaking the game open with a six-run third inning.
“It was good to see us come out and have a game where we put up some runs,” head coach Jeff Forehand said.”
"To have a good outing and score in double digits after coming off of a tough weekend where we were having trouble scoring, gives us confidence going into tomorrow’s game. Hopefully it carries into the weekend.”
The Bisons took advantage of 12 base on balls, five wild pitches, and two hit batsmen from the Bulldogs to score 13 runs on nine hits in the shortened game.
Freshman Chris Orphanos was sharp in his first collegiate start Tuesday, allowing two runs, one earned on five hits with four strikeouts in four innings of work to earn his first collegiate win.
Sophomore Erik Natusch made his first appearance of the season for the Bisons, throwing three innings of relief to earn the save. Natush allowed one run on two hits to go along with three strikeouts in three innings.
The coaching staff like what they saw out of its younger pitchers Tuesday.
“We targeted this week for some of the guys who hadn’t gotten as many innings as we’d like,” Forehand said. “Both Chris and Erik had good control and they did a good job of getting ahead in the count.”
“We needed those guys to get some work and we needed them to help our bullpen get ready for the weekend.”
The Bisons got a lot production out of the top of the order on Tuesday as Williams, T.J. Hoelzer and Richie Goodenow drove in nine of the team’s 10 RBI on the night.
Williams reached base five times, going 2-for-2 with 5 RBI and three walks, including a mammoth grand slam over the scoreboard beyond the right-field wall in the third inning.
“M.L. is typically not a homerun type of guy, but he has got a little pop in his bat,” Forehand said. “You don’t ever think the lead-off guy is going to run into one like that, but he caught that one pretty good and put a great swing on it.”
T.J. Hoelzer went 2-for-4 with 3 RBI and two runs scored out of the No. 2 hole.
The win snapped a six-game losing streak for the Bisons, who now prepare for a quick turnaround as they travel west to face UT-Martin at 6 p.m. CT on Wednesday.
Forehand is looking forward to the midweek on Wednesday.
“Hopefully tomorrow will be another game where we swing the bat well and try to get some momentum going into the weekend,” Forehand said.
“Every time we play UT-Martin it’s a battle with those guys. I’m sure they are getting ready for the weekend too and they want the same thing out of it as we do. Hopefully we will go down there and play well.”
Wednesday’s game will be aired live on Lipscombsports.com with veteran play-by-play announcer Benjamin Seamon and Travis Young providing color commentary live from Skyhawk Field.
Fans can listen to the game for free on the Lipscomb Sports Network by clicking here.