|May 15, 2015||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|Win: PASSANTINO (4-1)||6.0||5||1||1||0||5|
|Loss: COOPER (5-5)||4.0||11||11||7||3||2|
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – The Lipscomb baseball Bisons are now enjoying the best season in the school’s NCAA era after routing Northern Kentucky 15-1 Friday afternoon to grab a school record 34th victory of the year.
“From day one we have had a goal of doing what we practice and we have accomplished that for the most part all season,” Lipscomb skipper Jeff Forehand said. “When you get to a point where you can get to a record, you begin to see that hard work pay off. I think it’s pretty special to set a record for wins in our NCAA era. No other team in that time span has ever accomplished what we did today, winning number 34.
“I tried to use that as motivation for our guys before we hit the field and boy did they come out fired up and ready to play. We had great offense today and I thought we settled in nicely on the mound after giving up that first-inning home run. But as special as this is for our group, we are not done.”
The Bisons (34-18, 12-8 A-Sun) have now won 10 straight road games, including eight straight in conference play.
The Purple and Gold used an all-around attack at the plate Saturday tying a season-high with 18 base knocks. Nine different players recorded a hit and eight finished with multiple hits.
Senior shortstop Grant Massey and freshman centerfielder Michael Gigliotti led the hit parade, notching three apiece.
Massey finished the day 3-for-6 at the plate including a double in the fourth. He also drove in two runs and scored once. Gigliotti was 3-for-4 with his fourth home run of the season and a walk. The speedster crossed the dish three times and tallied two RBI.
Senior left fielder Jonathan Allison went 2-for-4 at the dish with two home runs, his first-career multiple-home run game. He smashed a 3-run bomb in the top of the fourth to cap a five-run frame before sending a parting shot with on a solo dinger in the ninth. The two round-trippers were his sixth and seventh of the year, tying Adam Lee for the team lead.
“Baseball is a hard game and sometimes the hits are falling and sometimes they aren’t,” Forehand said. “It was great to see Johnny get back on the barrel and hit those two balls out. Even though he hasn’t been getting the hits he has wanted of late, he has still been productive for us. I hope this can get him going again as we inch closer to post season play.”
Allison tied his career high with four runs driven in and three runs scored.
Junior catcher Chucky Vazquez sparked the offense with hits in each of his first two at-bats, driving in a career high three RBI.
Lipscomb freshman and reigning A-Sun Pitcher of the Week, Jeffrey Passantino limited the Norse’s bats for six innings allowing five hits and five strikeouts. He did not issue a walk. The effort secured his fourth win of the season as he improves to 4-1. Cody Cooper took the loss for NKU surrendering 11 runs, 11 hits and three walks in four innings. The southpaw also fanned two Bisons.
Dalton Curtis and John Pryor tossed the final three innings for the Purple and Gold. Curtis tossed 2.0 stanzas striking out two and issuing two walks. Pryor pitched the ninth allowing one hit and getting one punch out. He induced a 6-4-3 double play to end the game.
Northern Kentucky (17-33, 5-15 A-Sun) scored its only run in the top of the first when first baseman David Head blasted a solo home run to halt Passantino’s scoreless innings streak at 19.0.
Gigliotti and Allison recorded their 19th multiple hit games of the season while Massey tallied his 18th. With two hits from Adam Lee, he now has 16.
Around the Horn:
- Lipscomb outhit NKU 18-6 and was 8-for-21 with runners in scoring position. NKU was 0-for-3.
- The 15 runs scored are a season high for the Bisons.
- Massey (11) and Gigliotti (10) have the longest hitting streaks on the team.
- Gigliotti has now reached base in 25 straight games. He recorded his 21st bunt single in the second.
- Vazquez tied his career high with three runs driven in (4/4 – at Jacksonville).
- Freshman Tyler Brown entered in the seventh as a pinch hitter and delivered a 2-RBI single through the left side with the bases loaded. It is his sixth career hit.
- Third baseman Hunter Hanks finished 1-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored.
- Josh Lee (13), Massey (11), Hanks (9) and Tyson Ashcraft (8) all hit doubles.
- Mike Korte tallied his 14th sacrifice bunt.
The Bisons will try and wrap up the series on Sunday at 11 a.m. CT. Freshman Brady Puckett (5-2, 5.40 ERA) will get the start on the hill. He will face southpaw Matt Jefferson (3-7, 6.20 ERA).
Entering Sunday the only seed to be clinched in next week’s A-Sun Tournament is North Florida at No. 1. Lipscomb can clinch the No. 2 seed with a win over the Norse and a Stetson loss Friday night or Saturday afternoon.
“We have to just keep doing more of the same,” Forehand said. “All we can do it take care of what we control. Hopefully we will come out tomorrow and get another solid pitching performance from Brady and our offense will continue rolling.”