NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Pounding out double-digit hits in each contest, the Lipscomb baseball team swept both ends of a Saturday afternoon doubleheader against Siena taking the opener 11-1 before a 17-6 win in the nightcap at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium in Nashville.
Senior second baseman Zak Messer was just what the doctor ordered for the Bison in the opening game of the three-game series. The Lipscomb (6-10) veteran opened the day with a 4-for-4 game at the dish including a solo blast in the second inning and a grand slam as part of an five-run eighth inning that put the game away.
“We got a lot of good things out of today,” said Lipscomb head coach Jeff Forehand. “The bats got going good today but there are still some things we can correct and things we can do a little bit better that I think will help us on down the line.”
After Messer put the Bison out in front Siena (1-12) with his team-leading fifth home run in the second, junior shortstop Aaron Sandoval hit a one-out double and later scored to make it 2-0 on a sacrifice fly by junior catcher Taylor Stewart.
Siena answered with a run in the third but the Bison responded with another deep fly in the fifth as junior centerfielder Zach Lowery ripped his first home run in a Lipscomb uniform that also plated junior left fielder Ricky Coleman, who leadoff the frame with a single.
Lipscomb senior righty Connor Sinclair (2-1) picked up his second win of the season with a six-inning performance. Sinclair gave up the one earned run in the third scattering six Saints hits, while walking a pair and fanning four. Junior reliever Tyler Burstrom earned his first save of the year by working the final three innings allowing only a pair of hits and notching three strikeouts.
The second game of the day saw Lipscomb take advantage of a Saint error and wild pitch to score Sandoval on an RBI single up the middle by senior catcher Logan Hostettler in the bottom of the second. The Saints then took their first lead of the afternoon in the third as Lipscomb starter Blake Fonfara (1-2) developed some control issues and Siena managed to take advantage scoring three runs behind two hits, a walk and a hit-by-pitch.
However, the Saints would be unable to carry the lead out of the stanza as the Bison answered right back with a six-run bottom of the frame to take a 7-3 lead. Senior left fielder M.L. Williams ripped a one-out single to get the rally going before Messer walked and Lowery reached on an infield single to load the bases.
Freshman first baseman Griffin Moore stepped in with the bases juiced and drew a walk for the easy RBI on four-straight pitches. Sandoval followed with a single right back through the middle that scored Messer and Lowery. Junior third baseman Gray Hutchinson then ripped a double to right that plated Moore and gave the Bison two runners in scoring position.
A passed ball would then allow Hutchinson to go across the dish for the game’s sixth run before Hostetler drove in his second run of the game with a sacrifice fly to right scoring Hutchinson from third.
The Bison went on to add a run in the fourth as senior designated hitter Shawn Mehring led off the inning with a double down the left field line and then moved up 90 feet on a wild pitch. That set the table for Messer, who drove in his sixth run of the afternoon with a sacrifice fly to left scoring Mehring.
Leading 8-3, the Bison would push across three more runs in the sixth, four runs in the seventh and two more in the eighth to take command of the contest. The Saints would plate lone runs in the seventh and ninth innings but it would not make a dent in the substantial deficit.
Fonfara picked up the win on the hill in the nightcap allowing four earned runs in a five-inning outing. The junior gave up five hits and a walk but sent eight Saints down swinging.
The Bison and Saints conclude the series on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. at Dugan Field. Tickets are $5 for those ages 13 and up while admission for 12 and under is free.