CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb baseball team exploded for six runs in the 11th inning to down home-standing Austin Peay 12-6 in its first extra-inning affair of the season Tuesday night at Raymond C. Hand Park. The win marked the fifth-consecutive triumph for the Bisons.
“I am so proud of what our team did tonight to get this win,” Lipscomb skipper Jeff Forehand said. “Our bullpen was the key to this game and it was great to see them respond after the crazy last two innings we had at Upstate over the weekend.
“Nick (Andros), Dalton (Curtis) and (Jason) Ziegler had tremendous outings. Dalton came in and really got us out of jam there in the middle innings. And Andros and Ziegler were lights out. The bullpen was able to pinch the game until our offense broke through late. It was a great win for us.”
Lipscomb had only four players record at least one hit on the night, but eight different Bisons scored a run. The ability to draw walks set up the two big innings for Lipscomb offensively.
Trailing 3-0 entering the top of the fifth, the Bisons (25-13) hung a six-spot and would need every run in the end.
APSU starter Caleb Powell looked sharp early on, giving up just one hit through the first four frames, but the sophomore ran into trouble in the fifth. After walking the bases loaded before recording the first out of the frame, the righty then walked freshman Michael Gigliotti on five pitches to put the first run on the board.
Senior Grant Massey followed with a chopper through the left side of the infield for his 32nd RBI of the season. Following a pitching change senior Tyson Ashcraft delivered a 2-RBI single to left before redshirt freshman Allan Hooker launched a 2-RBI double off the wall in center field to give the Bisons a 6-3 lead.
After clawing their way back into the game with two runs, the Governors (21-17) put runners on the corners looking to keep the momentum rolling, but Forehand had other plans and made the move of the game, going to redshirt sophomore Dalton Curtis out of the pen.
The reliever began his outing with three straight balls before battling back and getting a grounder to second. Senior second baseman snatched the ball and threw it to the plate to get APSU’s Logan Gray trying to score the game-tying run. Curtis then induced a ground ball to third and got out of the stanza without any more damage done.
“That was a key play for us,” Forehand said. “Curtis came in there and really got us out of a jam and kept us ahead at the time. I was proud of his performance.”
Austin Peay eventually tied the game in the seventh on a single from Alex Robles.
Lipscomb once again loaded the bases in the 11th to set the stage for Massey. The veteran shortstop ripped his third hit of the night on a 2-run double off the 392-foot sign in center to put the Bisons on top. Senior Jonathan Allison plated a run on a soft blooper to left that was mishandled allowing Gigliotti to score.
Ashcraft capped his career night with a double down the right field line to bring around Massey and Allison. He finished the game with a career-high four RBIs.
“With Josh (Lee) being out we need guys to step up and cover for what he was doing for us,” Forehand said. “Tyson has stepped up big time over the last week and I just love seeing him have some success and knock those runs in. That hit he had in the 11th was so big for us because it stretched our lead and allowed us to close the game out.”
Hooker followed Ashcraft with a single to left field to knock in his third RBI and round out the scoring on the night.
Making his second career start, Lipscomb junior Kyle Weller lasted four innings, giving up three runs and six hits. All three of the runs given up came off solo home runs.
Senior Nick Andros came up with a strong outing in relief. The southpaw gave up just one hit in four complete frames to pick up the win and improve to 4-0. He struck out five and did not issue a walk.
Senior lefty Jason Ziegler entered in the 11th and struck out the side.
Massey and Allison each recorded three hits in the win to lead the team. Ashcraft and Hooker each had two.
Around the Horn:
- Lipscomb beat APSU for just the second time in the last 14 meetings and has now won two straight meetings in Clarksville for the first time in the program’s NCAA era.
- Massey and Allison recorded their team-leading 15th multi-hit game of the season.
- Massey extended his hitting streak and on-base streak to eight games.
- With two walks on the night, Gigliotti has now reached base in 11 consecutive games. That trails only Josh Lee who has reached in 12 straight.
- In the games Andros toes the rubber, Lipscomb is 12-0, including a 7-0 mark when he starts.
- Four players scored two runs on the night: Gigliotti, Massey, Ashcraft and Korte.
- Massey swiped his team-leading 13th stolen base of the year, while Allison recorded his 11th.
- Lipscomb and Austin Peay each recorded 10 hits on the night. The Bisons left six men on base. APSU left eight.
- The Bisons hit four doubles for the second straight game. They now have eight such games on the year.
- The 12 runs scored marked the seventh time Lipscomb had double-digit tallies. It is 7-0 in those games.
- Ashcraft, who had no RBIs enter last Tuesday, now has nine in his last five games.
- The game time of 4:15 was the longest game of the season for Lipscomb.
- Forehand is now eight wins from No. 450 career wins. He is 442-411-1 in his 15th season as a head coach.
- The Bisons tied their season high with eight walks drawn. Gigliotti and Chucky Vazquez each recorded two. Vazquez also drew a big-time lead-off hit-by-pitch that got things rolling in the 11th.
The Bisons return to Ken Dugan Field to play host to Kennesaw State in a three-game Atlantic Sun Conference series. Friday’s first pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.
“We have to build on this win,” Forehand said. “We just beat a good team at their place in extra innings. We have to get some excitement going into this weekend when we play arguably who everyone thought would be the best team in our league this season in Kennesaw State.
“With how the season ended last year in the A-Sun Championship against those guys, I know everyone will be looking forward to a big weekend series. Hopefully we can take that momentum from tonight and ride it into the weekend.”