NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Rebounding from a rocky start, the Lipscomb baseball team topped SIUE 7-4 on Friday afternoon at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium in Nashville.
The Cougars (0-1) wasted no time getting on the scoreboard as leadoff man Travis Becherer delivered a 3-1 offering over the right field fence. SIUE went on to plate three more runs off senior pitcher Josh Cotham before the veteran could get out of the jam.
“You don’t typically see that from Josh,” said Lipscomb head baseball coach Jeff Forehand. “The takeaway from it is that we bounced back and he gave us three scoreless innings after that. We were able to score and then Hunter picked up the slack and pitched great.”
From that point on, it was all Bisons (1-0) as LU would score seven unanswered runs. Senior centerfielder Zach Lowery answered Becherer’s long ball with a blast of his own in the bottom of the first that sailed inside the left field foul pole.
Lipscomb continued chipping away at the Cougar lead in the second as senior third baseman ledoff the frame with a double down the left field line. Freshman second baseman Austin Sistrunk then reached on a throwing error to set the table for senior catcher Taylor Stewart, who laced a double to center making it a 4-3 game. Newcomer Drew Adams drew the Bisons even two batters later when designated hitter singled back up the middle.
Lowery kept his hot hitting up in the fifth inning by leading off the stanza with a double to left. Sophomore first baseman Griffin Moore then followed with a two-run blast to right field giving the Bisons the lead for the first time of the afternoon.
“(Moore) has improved as a hitter,” said Forehand. “After watching him take pitches and how he was handling his at bats, he’s just evolving into the hitter that we think he can be. With the opportunity to follow Zach (Lowery) in the middle, that’s a pretty good one-two punch right there in the middle of our lineup.”
A Hutchinson double later in the inning led to another run when he came home on a single down the line by senior shortstop Aaron Sandoval to round out the scoring.
After the shaky start, Cotham settled down working four and one-thirds innings before handing the ball over to junior reliever Hunter Brothers, who went the rest of the way for Lipscomb. Brothers (1-0) picked up the win on the bump allowing only two hits to the Cougars over the final four and two-thirds innings. Cotham gave up six hits and four earned runs along with four walks and three strikeouts.
P.J. Schuster (0-1) took the loss in relief for SIUE allowing three earned runs and four hits in three innings of work.
The series continues on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. at Dugan Field. Senior Davey Hackett gets the nod for the Bisons, while senior Drew Staples will take the hill for the Cougars. To purchase tickets, call 615-566-4373 or visit http://www.BeHerdLU.com