MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Behind a dominating complete-game performance from freshman Brady Puckett, the Lipscomb baseball team downed home-standing Middle Tennessee 8-1 on Tuesday night at Reese Smith Jr. Field in Murfreesboro.
“Brady threw a gem tonight for us,” Lipscomb coach Jeff Forehand said. “This was just his second start, but was able to give us a complete game. Everything that he practices, he put into action and it was a lot of fun to watch.”
The Murfreesboro native picked up his first collegiate win in a game where he faced just four batters above the minimum and only reached a three-ball count twice. Puckett allowed one run on six hits and four strikeouts.
“I really wasn’t throwing too good in the bullpen before the game, but it started to come,” Puckett said. “I got in a groove and everything went really well for me tonight.”
Offensively the Bisons pounded out 13 hits on the night led by a 3-for-4 performance by junior catcher Chucky Vazquez. He was one of four Lipscomb players to record multiple hits.
Lipscomb (15-7) quickly jumped out to a three-run lead in the second inning as Vazquez singled to center to bring home sophomore third baseman Hunter Hanks, who reached on an error by the shortstop. Senior second baseman Mike Korte followed with a single to right.
Two batters later freshman center fielder Michael Gigliotti chopped a ball over the first baseman’s glove and into the right field corner for a two-RBI triple.
In the top of the fourth with the bases loaded senior shortstop Grant Massey recorded a RBI after being hit by a pitch. Senior leftfielder Jonathan Allison followed with a 2-RBI single to center.
Lipscomb’s lead ballooned to 8-0 on an Allan Hooker single in the sixth and an Adam Lee double in the seventh.
Giving Puckett the opportunity for a complete-game shutout, Forehand ran the hometown freshman back out in the ninth. Middle Tennessee’s Will Schnure led off the bottom of the frame with a deep fly ball to center field. Just when Gigliotti looked to pull it in, he slipped on the wet turf and the ball dropped for a stand-up triple.
Puckett got two quick outs before a hard-hit single to first base allowed the run to cross.
Middle Tennessee dropped to 13-10 on the year with the loss.
Heath Slatton took the defeat after working 3.2 frames. He allowed three earned runs on five hits with three strikeouts and one walk.
- The Bisons have now defeated the Blue Raiders in seven of the last eight meetings. Overall, Middle Tennessee holds a 15-12 advantage in the series in the NCAA era for Lipscomb.
- Lipscomb swiped a season high five bases, led by two from Vazquez. Massey stole his team-leading seventh bag.
- Vazquez’s three hits were a career high.
- Gigliotti, Allison and Korte each had two hits in the win.
- Massey extended his hitting streak to 10 games and his on-base streak to 12.
- Allison now has 11 multi-hit games and eight multi-RBI games.
- Puckett’s performance was the first complete-game effort of the season for Lipscomb.
- Wednesday marked the fourth time in the last seven games the Bisons did not issue a walk.
- Gigliotti recorded his third triple of the season.
- With his double in the seventh, Adam Lee improves his yearly total to six.
With Atlantic Sun Conference play just around the corner, Lipscomb returns home this weekend for its final non-conference series of the season when Georgetown visits Music City. The three-game set will begin Friday with a 6 p.m. first pitch.
“Georgetown had a good week with a win over Virginia, who is a top 10 team in the country,” Forehand said. “We have to keep trying to put together a solid game and concentrating on us. We did that tonight and look what happened. Hopefully we can pick right up on Friday.”