Belmont tops Bisons 4-3 in series finale
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Belmont tops Bisons 4-3 in series finale
Belmont defeated Lipscomb 4-3 in a Sunday afternoon rubber game at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen Lee Marsh Stadium. The Bruins took two of the three games to win the series against the Bisons.

The Bruins (25-20 overall, 14-10 A-Sun) chased Lipscomb starter Mike Grace after two and one third innings as they scored one run in each of the first three innings to jump out to an early 3-0 lead.

Grace allowed three runs on six hits with three walks and one strikeout while facing 13 batters.

Belmont’s Derek Hamblen gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead, with a one-out solo home run to left in the second at bat of the game.

Belmont extended its lead to two runs when Judah Akers scored on Zac Mitchell’s sacrifice fly in the top of the second. Akers doubled earlier in the inning and advanced to third on Jared Breen’s single.

The Bruins took advantage of two free passes in the top of the third as they notched their third run of the game on another sacrifice fly.

Senior Alex Ross came into relieve Grace with one out in the top of the third inning, and got the Bisons out of a jam by retiring the next two batters and leaving two Belmont runners on base.

With the Bisons (15-29, 6-15 A-Sun) trailing 3-0, Josh Chism’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the third broke the ice for the Bisons, as T.J. Hoelzer tagged from third to make the score 3-1.

Hoelzer led-off the third with single to right and then went first to third on Richie Goodenow’s rope single up the middle.

The game remained 3-1 in favor of the Bruins until the bottom of the seventh when Kyle Henry drove a belt-high fastball from Belmont starter Josh Davis over the left-center wall for his first round-tripper of the year. Henry’s bomb made it a 3-2 game. The Bisons nearly had back-to-back home runs as Belmont center-fielder Dylan Craig robbed Ricky Coleman of what appeared to be a home run in center in the next at-bat.

The Bruins added to its one-run lead in the top of the eighth when Greg Brody scored on Breen’s RBI-ground out to take a 4-2 lead. The run in the eighth closed the book on Ross.

Ross gave the Bisons all it needed and much more with an impressive performance out of the bullpen on Sunday. The southpaw, allowed one run on four hits while fanning two batters in a career-high five innings of middle relief.

Goodenow threw the final one and two-thirds innings, allowing one hit and no runs.

The Bisons had one more shot in the bottom of the ninth.

Kyle Henry led-off the last frame with a double to right-center and then advanced to third on a ground out by Coleman. With one out in the bottom of the ninth, M.L. Williams singled through the right-side, driving in Henry from third and making it a 4-3 game with one out. Bruin closer Jon Ivie was then called for a balk, moving the tying run (Williams) into scoring position. However, the Bisons left the tying run 90-feet away as Ivie got Hoelzer and Goodenow to ground out to end the game.

For the game, the Bisons outhit the Bruins 12-11 and both teams played solid defensively over nine innings, as neither team committed an error.

Williams, Goodenow, Hoelzer, Wilson and Henry all had two hits in the game to pace the Bisons.

The Bisons are now 10-9 when outhitting its opponent and 4-7 in one-run games.

Lipscomb will take this week off for final exams before getting ready to host Campbell for a three-game series next weekend (May 6-8). Friday and Saturday’s game will start at 6 p.m. while Sunday’s game will start at Noon.

Admission for all home games at Dugan Field is $5.  Children 12 and under are free.  Complete coverage can be heard on the Lipscomb Sports Network and on ASun.TV.