NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After a pregame photo op from Phil, Kay and Si Robertson, stars of A&E’s hit show Duck Dynasty, the Lipscomb baseball team took to the field on Friday night and took a 6-4 Atlantic Sun Conference decision against Stetson at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium.
The Bisons (15-28, 5-11 A-Sun) got on the scoreboard first in the second inning making the Hatters (19-23, 8-8 A-Sun) pay for a defensive miscue that started the frame. Junior left fielder Chad Shannon benefited from the Stetson error and then swiped second base with his fifth stolen base of the season. An infield groundout moved Shannon up to third before freshman second baseman Austin Sistrunk delivered a two-out single to centerfield to give LU the 1-0 lead.
That lead was short lived however, as the Hatters answered right back in the bottom of the frame to tie the game 1-1 before Stetson put together a three-run fifth inning to take the lead for the first time of the night.
Down 4-1, the Bisons countered right back in the bottom of the stanza with a four-run frame and never looked back. Senior third baseman Gray Hutchinson started off the frame by lacing a double into the right centerfield gap before coming home to score on a double down the left field line by senior catcher Taylor Stewart.
Sophomore first baseman Tyson Ashcraft then followed with a single to left field scoring Lee Wilson, who had walked earlier in the frame and moved into scoring position on Stewart’s double. Trailing by one, Shannon then singled to right to give LU the 5-4 lead as Stewart and Drew Adams raced across the plate.
“To come back and score four in the bottom of the fifth was huge for us and to give us some momentum,” said Lipscomb head coach Jeff Forehand. “Tyson came up with a big two-out hit and so did Chad. It was a big inning for us to bounce back.”
Lipscomb would tack on an insurance tally in the seventh inning when Shannon singled to right for his third RBI of the night scoring Adams, who singled to lead off the inning and moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by senior shortstop Aaron Sandoval.
Senior righty Josh Cotham picked up the win on the hill for the Bisons with a six-inning, eight hit, four run effort.
“(Cotham) really pitched well tonight,” said Forehand. “We only took him out because we had Blake (Fonfara) for their left handers. Josh pitched another solid game and that’s all we can ask.”
The Lipscomb bullpen of Blake Fonfara, J Hwang and Tyler Burstrom then combined to shutout the Hatters the rest of the way. Burstrom notched his second save of the season working the final 1.1 innings without allowing a hit or walk.
The series continues on Saturday at 4 p.m. weather permitting at Dugan Field. Admission is free as part of the Don Meyer Evening of Excellence weekend.