NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Riding its longest win streak of the season the Lipscomb baseball team will go for five in a row Tuesday night at Raymond C. Hand Park on the campus of Austin Peay at 6 p.m.
In its last trip to Clarksville last season, Lipscomb (24-13, 5-4 A-Sun) exploded for eight runs on five hits in the final frame to break a tie game and down Austin Peay 14-6. The triumph halted a 10-game losing skid in the series for the Purple and Gold. Senior relief pitcher Griffin Moore, who was a designated hitter at the time, jump-started the late Bison stampede with a 2-run homer down the right field line in the third at-bat of the inning.
The Bisons have all the momentum in the world after getting a conference sweep on the road at USC Upstate over the weekend. A big key in last week’s success was the pitching staff. Before surrendering seven runs over the final two frames on Saturday, Lipscomb had allowed just five runs in its previous 34 innings pitched.
Lipscomb junior righty Kyle Weller (4-0, 2.86 ERA) is scheduled to make his second career start on the mound Tuesday. The righty tossed six complete frames last week against Murray State. He gave up two runs on five hits with four strikeouts and two walks.
Weller is set to throw against Austin Peay’s Caleb Powell (0-1, 7.26 ERA), who will make his 11th start of the season for the Governors.
Ashcraft Breaks Through:
One week ago designated hitter Tyson Ashcraft was batting .213 on the year and did not have a RBI. In his last four games the senior went 6-for-14 with five RBI and three multi-hit contests.
In the midst of his surge Ashcraft showed the pop in his stick. In back-to-back games over a six at-bat span, he belted three home runs and recorded the second multi-HR game of his career Friday at Upstate when he went deep in his first two at-bats of the game. He now has 13 long shots in his four-year career.
Lipscomb – Kyle Weller – JR – RHP – (4-0, 2.86 ERA, 22.0 IP, 8 R, 7 ER, 17 K, 11 BB)
Austin Peay – Caleb Powell – SO – RHP – (0-1, 7.26 ERA, 48.1 IP, 55 R, 39 ER, 38 K, 26 BB)
Weather at Game Time:
April 21st – 65 degrees – Partly Cloudy (0%) Winds SW 12 MPH
Check with LipscombSports.com or follow @BisonBaseball on twitter for updates on the team or any time changes with the game.
Scouting Austin Peay:
APSU has been playing some good baseball of late, winning 10-of-14 games, but while visiting Eastern Kentucky for an Ohio Valley Conference series over the weekend, the Govs dropped their final two contests to go to 21-16 overall and 12-9 in the OVC.
Three Governors are batting over .300, led by all-around player Alex Robles who is raking .349. P.J. Torres provides the power for APSU. He has eight home runs, seven doubles and four triples.
Around the Horn:
- APSU leads the all-time series 20-8, including a 10-4 mark at home. Before winning its lone meeting in Clarksville last season Lipscomb had dropped six straight and 10 of its last 12 contests at Hand Park.
- Two runs has been a key ingredient in the success this season. When Lipscomb holds opponents to two runs or fewer, it is 11-0. Offensively when it scores more than two runs, Lipscomb is 24-4.
- Lipscomb skipper Jeff Forehand is nine wins from getting his 450th career victory. He enters the game 441-411-1 in his 15th season as a head coach.
- Senior shortstop Grant Massey ranks among the A-Sun’s leaders in multiple categories: third in assists (124), fifth in on-base percentage (.443), sixth in stolen bases (12), seventh in hits (57), ninth in double plays turned (24) and 11th in RBI’s (31).
- On the mound, Lipscomb leads the league in fewest runs allowed (174), fewest hits allowed (311) and saves (12). It ranks second in opposing batting average (.258) and ERA (4.00). Offensively the team’s .416 slugging percentage and 229 strikeouts are also second.
- The Bisons have been one of the top bunting teams in the country, ranking fourth nationally with 22 as a team. 15 of those have come from the bat of freshman Michael Gigliotti, which is tops in the country.
- Senior second baseman Mike Korte is 14th in the nation with 10 sacrifice bunts.
- Big innings have been a large part of the success for the team in 2015 so far. Three times this season the Bisons have posted seven or more runs in a frame. Lipscomb has also scored four or more runs in an inning 10 times so far.
- Lipscomb leads the conference and ranks 39th nationally with 56 stolen bases on the year. Grant Massey leads the team with 12, while Jonathan Allison and Gigliotti each have 10.
- After hitting nine homeruns in 19 games during March, the Bisons have already hit nine in the month of April through 11 games. Lipscomb’s 22 home runs this season are the fourth most in the A-Sun.
- Three of the top 10 hitters in the A-Sun are in Lipscomb’s lineup. Massey ranks fourth at .381, Gigliotti is eighth (.342) while Allison stands 10th (.341).
- Allison ranks fourth in the league with 23 walks, seventh in on-base percentage (.436) and slugging percentage (.514) and eighth with 35 RBI’s.
- Gigliotti’s 34 runs scored are the sixth most in the A-Sun while his 50 hits are the 11th most.
- Gigliotti and Hooker each have three triples. That is fourth most in the conference and two shy from tying the school’s NCAA single-season record.
- Senior Nick Andros stands eighth on Lipscomb’s career-saves list with five.
The Bisons return home this weekend to host reigning Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament champion Kennesaw State in a three-game set at Ken Dugan Field beginning on Friday at 6 p.m. Saturday’s game two is slated for a 2 p.m. first pitch while the finale will get underway at 1 p.m. on Sunday.