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April 11, 2015123456789RHE
North Florida020001000351
Win: BLALOCK (1-0) 1.010000
Loss: VANSICKLE (0-1) 3.232202
BROOKS (UNF) 501000
DEWEES (UNF) 411010
Hanks drives in three as baseball evens series
Saturday, April 11, 2015
By Kirk Downs
Hanks drives in three as baseball evens series

NASHVILLE, Tenn. –  Propelled by a 5-run seventh inning, the Lipscomb baseball team evened the Atlantic Sun Conference series against North Florida with an 11-3 victory on Saturday afternoon at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium. The win halted a seven-game win streak by the Ospreys.

“That is as good a team as we have played all year,” Lipscomb coach Jeff Forehand said. “Offensively they (UNF) really swing the bat well and you have to do a lot to hold them down. Our pitching staff did a tremendous job today, but we were fortunate to hold them like we did. Now we just have to come back and try to do it again tomorrow. ­“­

The Bisons (20-12, 2-3 A-Sun) would mount the first run of the ballgame in the first inning after Michael Gigliotti led off the frame with a single up the middle. Gigliotti reached second on a ground out from Grant Massey and then swiped third to stand 90 feet from home. Josh Lee flied out to right on the first pitch he saw, scoring Gigliotti in the process.

North Florida (26-12, 5-3 A-Sun) responded to take its lone lead of the day, 2-1, in the top of the second when Corbin Olmstead blasted his sixth home run of the year to left field. Nick Karmeris scored on the play after drawing a one-out walk.

The Bisons tied things up in the bottom of the inning on a single to right field from Adam Lee.  Mike Korte scored on the play after reaching on a walk, swiping second and then advancing to third on a throwing error.

 In the bottom of the third, Grant Massey led off with a scorched single that went in and out of the second baseman’s glove.  He stole second and then advanced to third on a single from Jonathan Allison. Josh Lee grounded into a double play in the next at-bat, but Massey crossed the dish to give the Bisons a 3-2 advantage.

The Ospreys tied the game up in the sixth after Donnie Dewees ripped a leadoff triple to left centerfield. He came home on a ground out by Trent Higginbothem in the next at-bat.

Lipscomb quickly struck back with two runs in the bottom of the stanza, taking its final lead of the day. Josh Lee ripped a one-out single to left and then came around to score on a double to left centerfield from third baseman Hunter Hanks. Catcher Chuckey Vazquez followed with a RBI-single to center, scoring Hanks.

Looking to extend its lead in the seventh, the Purple and Gold hung a five-spot to put the game out of reach. Gigliotti got things rolling once again with a single to center. Massey laced a RBI-double to the wall in left before Allison singled to right to put Bisons on the corners.

Two batters later, Forehand decided to pinch-hit Allan Hooker and the move paid off as the redshirt freshman cleared the bases on a double to left. Hanks followed with his second home run of the weekend when he turned on the 10th pitch of the at-bat and launched it well beyond the fence in left.

Senior southpaw Nick Andros entered the game in the seventh and pitched a shutout over the final three frames to record his second save of the season. He scattered two hits while punching out two and walking two.

Freshman Jeffrey Passantino got his first-career start on the mound for Lipscomb giving up two runs on Saturday. The righty was almost unhittable, allowing just one base knock in five innings pitched. He walked three and punched out a trio, but did not factor into the decision.

Redshirt senior Will Blalock entered in the sixth in relief and recorded the win (1-0) after giving up just one hit in one inning pitched.

Gigliotti led the Bisons at the dish with a 3-for-5 afternoon, including scoring a pair of runs. Lipscomb also got 3-RBIs from Hanks and Hooker as the duo posted 2-hit efforts.

“Hunter is a good hitter, but he has been struggling the last couple of weeks,” Forehand said. “But you have to give him credit, he has worked hard at getting it fixed and never got his head down when things weren’t going his way. It’s just fun to watch him come out of it and he has really been swinging the bat well this week.”


Quick Hits:

    • The 17 hits are the second most this season. The Bisons tallied 18 in a win over La Salle on Feb. 28.
    • The 11 runs scored marked the fifth time this season that Lipscomb scored in double figures.
    • Lipscomb was 8-for-14 with runners in scoring position while the Ospreys were 0-for-5.
    • The eight-run defeat for UNF was the largets of the season, as it had not lost by more than three all season.
    • Lipscomb's pitching staff limited the North Florida offense to just five hits, its second-lowest output of the season. UNF entered the series ranked second in the country in hits.
    • Massey recorded his sixth two-bagger of the season, while Hooker and Hanks got their seventh.
    • Massey swiped his team-leading 12th stolen base of the season. Gigliotti now has 10 and Korte has two.
    • The Bisons improve to
    • Gigliotti and Massey each recorded their 10th multiple hit game of the year.
    • Josh Lee has now reached base in 11 straight games. That leads the team.
    • Lipscomb is now 9-0 this season when Andros makes an appearance on the mound. (7-0 when he starts).



Up Next:

Lipscomb and North Florida will close out its three-game series on Sunday at Dugan Field. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. John Pryor will get the nod on the bump for the Bisons. He enters the game 1-2 with a 3.66 ERA. The sophomore southpaw will face off against Ospreys’ freshman Matt Vaka who is 1-0 with a 2.05 ERA.