NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb baseball team returned to the friendly confines of Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh with a 5-2 nonconference win over Xavier on Friday night.
“After Tuesday’s loss we were ready to play again,” said Lipscomb head coach Jeff Forehand. “This is a good win for our club tonight because Xavier is a very good team.
“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. Although we let them back in it, we were able to get some timely hitting down the stretch.”
The Bisons (12-6) wasted no time getting on the scoreboard as senior leftfielder Jonathan Allison racked up his 18th RBI of the season in the first inning on a single to left field. Senior shortstop Grant Massey came around to score on the play after ripping a one-out double to the wall in left centerfield.
Sophomore third baseman Hunter Hanks followed with a single of his own to keep Lipscomb in business with runners on the corners. Redshirt freshman rightfielder Allan Hooker slashed a ball to third base and then beat out the throw to allow Allison to come home to give the Bisons a 2-0 lead.
Xavier (6-15) would draw even in the sixth with a two-run blast over the scoreboard in right field by Brian Bruening.
The Bisons responded with two runs in the seventh to grab the lead back at 4-2.
Redshirt junior designated hitter Josh Lee and freshman backstop Jeffrey Crisan led off the frame with a hit by pitch and a four-pitch walk before Xavier made a pitching change.
Following the change, senior second baseman Mike Korte laid down a bunt to the pitcher who then tossed it to third base for the force out, but a bobble at the bag allowed the runners to reach safely and load the bases with no outs.
Redshirt junior first baseman Adam Lee knocked in big brother Josh Lee on a fielder’s choice to second base. Massey followed with a big RBI-single up the middle to give the Bisons a two-run lead.
Lipscomb added an insurance tally in the eighth when Crisan cranked a double to the wall in left center. Hanks came around to score on the play after leading off the inning with a single through the left side.
Senior righty Martinez-McGraw picked up the win on the hill to improve to 4-1 on the year. The knuckleballer lasted seven innings giving up eight hits on the night. Martinez-McGraw fanned four batters and did not issue a walk.
Senior southpaw Jason Ziegler earned his second save of the season working two perfect frames. Ziegler struck out the side in the eighth and finished his appearance with five punch outs and no walks.
"Ian and Zig were huge for us tonight," Forehand said. "They combined for nine strikeouts and zero walks. That is what we need if we want to keep winning these ballgames. This is the type of game we expect from both of those guys."
Brad Kirschner (2-3) took the loss for Xavier giving up two earned runs, five hits and two walks in six innings. The lefty also struck out five Bisons..
Massey led the way at the plate for Lipscomb with a 3-for-4 effort including one run scored and one RBI.
- Lipscomb improves to 7-0 all-time versus the Musketeers.
- Martinez-McGraw gave up his second extra-base hit and the first home run of the season.
- He had only given up two earned runs in 31 innings pitched entering Friday.
- Friday’s game was the first time this season Martinez-McGraw did not issue a walk.
- Massey’s three hits tied his season high. He has recorded a hit in 16-of-18 games this year.
- Hanks had two hits (2-for-3). It was his first multi-hit game since Feb. 28 against La Salle.
- Crisan threw out his eighth attempted base stealer of the year.
- Gigliotti’s 11-game hitting streak ended after going 0-for-4 at the plate.
Lipscomb returns to action on Saturday at 2 p.m. before closing out the series at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
“Xavier is a good baseball team,” Forehand said. “Their pitching is only going to get better. We will have our work cut out for us, but we look forward to getting back out here tomorrow.”