NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb baseball team returned to the friendly confines of Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh with a 5-2 Atlantic Sun Conference win over Northern Kentucky on Friday night.
“After Tuesday’s embarrassing loss we were ready to play again,” said Lipscomb head coach Jeff Forehand. “We were ready to get back on the field and we had two great days of practice. The guys were upbeat and ready to go.
“We got right back to the plan tonight. We got a couple of runs early and gave Ian (Martinez-McGraw) a lead to work with. I feel really good about what we did tonight.”
The Bisons (25-18, 13-6 A-Sun)wasted no time getting on the scoreboard as junior centerfielder Jonathan Allison cranked a high fastball into Lake Lipscomb beyond the right field fence. Lipscomb quickly added a run in the bottom of the second to take a 2-0 advantage over the Norse (12-27, 5-11 A-Sun).
Sophomore third baseman Austin Sistrunk opened the frame by singling through the left side and then swiping second with his seventh stolen base of the season. That set things up for junior designated hitter Tyson Ashcraft, who delivered a single to left to plate Sistrunk.
NKU would then draw even with a run in the fourth and a run in the fifth before the Bisons used a 3-run stanza to retake the lead. A leadoff double by junior shortstop Grant Massey followed by a walk by senior right fielder Drew Adams got things started in the frame.
With two on, redshirt-junior left fielder Josh Lee cranked a double to left to bring both Massey and Adams across the dish. Lee tried to stretch the play into a triple but was gunned down sliding in to third base. Ashcraft kept things going later in the inning however with a single down the left field line before stealing second.
That set things up for redshirt-sophomore first baseman Adam Lee and he delivered with a single back up the middle to make it a 5-2 cushion for the Purple and Gold.
NKU would go on to draw within two runs in the eighth with a leadoff bomb from Cody Kuzniczci but that is as close as the visitors would come.
Junior righty Ian Martinez-McGraw picked up the win on the hill to improve to 7-1 on the year. The knuckleballer lasted six and two-thirds innings giving up seven hits on the night. Martinez-McGraw also walked a trio while fanning six Norse batters.
Junior southpaw Jason Ziegler earned his fourth save allowing the one home run in two and one-thirds innings of action.
Cody Cooper took the loss for NKU giving up four earned runs, eight hits and three walks in four and one-third innings. The righty also struck out a pair of Bisons.
Allison led the way at the plate for Lipscomb with a 3-for-5 effort including one run scored and one RBI.
Due to Saturday exams for the Bisons, the series continues on Saturday night at 6 p.m. from Dugan Field.