HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – The Lipscomb baseball team continued its road dominance Saturday afternoon, completing its third-consecutive Atlantic Sun Conference road sweep, with a 7-1 victory over the Norse of Northern Kentucky at the rainy Bill Aker Complex.
“Anytime you can win on the road it’s huge for your team, because winning on the road is so hard,” Lipscomb skipper Jeff Forehand said. “I think this team has shown a lot about themselves this season on the road and this weekend is no exception. I am excited about how we finished up the season and am looking forward to carrying it over into next week.”
Lipscomb (35-18, 13-8 A-Sun) grabbed an early two-run advantage in the opening stanza after freshman center fielder Michael Gigliotti drew a leadoff walk. Senior’s Jonathan Allison and Josh Lee ripped back-to-back RBI doubles for a 2-0 Bison lead.
In the top of the second Lipscomb loaded the bases with two outs on back-to-back singles from sophomore third baseman Hunter Hanks and Gigliotti before Adam Lee drew a walk. A wild pitch allowed Hanks to cross the dish to push the lead to 3-0.
After tacking on another run in the fourth on a fielder’s choice from senior shortstop Grant Massey, the Purple and Gold added two more in the sixth. With two outs and Hanks standing on second, Adam Lee crushed his eighth home run of the season on to the hill beyond the fence in left center.
“We have felt recently we needed to get Adam higher in the lineup,” Forehand said. “He has been such a productive hitter that it has been big for us to have him at the bottom in order to roll the lineup back over. He had another good day with three walks and then hit a 3-2 pitch out of the park. I could not be happier for him.”
Northern Kentucky (17-34, 5-16 A-Sun) scored its lone run in the seventh on a throwing error from Massey.
Lipscomb loaded the bases in the ninth to set the stage for Tyson Ashcraft. The senior drew the fourth walk of the inning to plate Adam Lee from third for the game’s final tally.
Freshman Brady Puckett, making his ninth start of the year, picks up his sixth win while improving to 6-2. The 6-foot-8 hurler scattered five hits and allowed one unearned run while striking out three and walking one.
“Brady even said himself that the thing he didn’t do today, that he has done all season is get ahead of guys in the count,” Forehand said. “He worked himself out of a couple of jams and that was big. I give him all the credit because he is really coming into his own and settling in late in the year.”
All six of Puckett’s win have come on the road.
Senior lefty Jason Ziegler tossed the final two frames, surrendering one hit.
Around the Horn:
- The Bisons have now won 11-straight road games. Their last loss came on April 4 at Jacksonville.
- Lipscomb drew a season high 11 walks in the win.
- Adam Lee is tied for the seventh most home runs in a single season in the NCAA era with eight. With two RBI Saturday, he now has eight multi-RBI games this season.
- Gigliotti extends his on-base streak to 26 games. He also has an 11 game hitting streak.
- Hanks recorded his 10th multiple hit game of the year. He also swiped his seventh bag .
- Gigliotti’s 47 runs scored are tied for the 10th most in the NCAA era – tying Massey’s 2014 total.
- Allison’s 51 RBI are the fifth-most in a single season. Just one behind former Bison Drew Adams’ total in 2014.
Lipscomb is headed to Fort Myers, Florida for the A-Sun Championship beginning Wednesday. The Bisons clinched the No. 2 seed with Stetson's loss to Florida Gulf Coast on Saturday and they will now open the tournament at 6 p.m. CT Wednesday May 20 against the home-standing and No. 5 seeded FGCU.
“Anytime you go into the tournament, you want to be playing as well as you can,” Forehand said. “After a tough weekend against Stetson last week and then another one on Tuesday, it is good to see us get back on track with these three wins.
“It is fun to watch us when we are attacking with all facets of our offense and the pitching staff is throwing as well as they are. Hopefully it’s some good momentum going into next week. We are ready to get to Fort Myers.”