NASHVILLE, Tenn. – With a couple of weeks of fall practice in the books, the Lipscomb baseball team is set for a busy week hosting the 8th-Annual Lipscomb Baseball and Friends Golf Tournament and Parents Weekend on Friday and Saturday.
“This is a fun weekend coming up,” said Lipscomb head baseball coach Jeff Forehand. “We’ve finally been able to put together the whole weekend to combine our alumni and support group to raise a little money but mainly to have a good time together.
“It’s something we hope that all of our alumni will try to get out to. We’ll have an alumni batting practice after the golf scramble which will turn into a home run derby for those guys. They really enjoy coming back and doing that.”
The Friday golf tournament is set for an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start with lunch following at the Legends Golf Club in Franklin. Saturday features a special event at 9 a.m. as the dads of the current Bisons squad will hit the cage for some batting practice of their own with their sons.
The Bisons will then hit the field for a scrimmage at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium showcasing their early work in fall practice that has included a lot of jousting for playing time.
“We have a lot of competition going on,” said Forehand. “With 18 new players coming in, it was evident that was going to be the case. With half of the team being new, everyone is out to earn a spot.
“After the first couple of scrimmages we’ve been able to evaluate some guys and it’s really exciting to see the energy level up and the competition level up. I feel like we’ve got a good group chemistry starting out at the beginning.”
Along with the plethora of new faces, the Bisons return an experienced starting pitching staff but Forehand is most excited about the new depth that should be a dominant force in closing out games in 2014.
“We’ve got some experienced guys that are coming back that should be able to anchor the bulk of the starting load but I feel like the best part of our team has got to be our bullpen. One of the things we set out to do in the offseason was to bolster the bullpen with the addition of several guys that we feel are going to be key members on that end.”
Forehand is looking forward to being able to play a little chess in the late innings, something he was unable to do this past season with only one lefty on the staff.
“I feel good about being able to match up out of the pen and the different looks we will be able to give the other team from left handers to right handers and side arm guys will give us an advantage.
“It’s nice getting back to having multiple lefties on the staff after what happened with us last year with Chris Nunn and a freshman signee getting drafted it kind of put us behind the eight ball in left-handed pitching. Replacing those guys was a main focus this year and we have five lefties that have come in and will give us great opportunities to match up late in games. Hopefully some of those guys will transition into a starting role as well.”
That staff will be showcased in Saturday’s scrimmage and several times throughout the rest of the month as the Bisons head toward the end of Fall camp.
“It’s hard to believe we’re already in October,” said Forehand. “The finish of fall practice is going to creep up on us quickly but I think at the end of the month we’ll have a good idea of where we are heading into the spring.”