|May 29, 2015||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|Win: Fulmer (12-2)||7.0||4||1||1||3||11|
|Loss: MARTINEZ-MCGRAW (7-4)||4.1||7||3||3||4||2|
|May 30, 2015||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|Win: Ridgely (5-1)||5.0||5||2||2||0||2|
|Loss: PUCKETT (7-3)||5.0||7||4||4||2||4|
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The fourth-seeded Lipscomb baseball team is geared up to compete in its second NCAA Baseball Championship in school history, opening play down the road with host and top-seed Vanderbilt. First pitch for the Bisons and Dores is set for 7:05 p.m. at Hawkins Field.
No. 2 Radford and No. 3 Indiana will get the double-elimination play started at 2 p.m.
If the Bisons (39-18) win their opening game, they will take on the winner of game one in a 7:05 game Saturday night. If Lipscomb falls in the opener, it will then face the loser of game one in an elimination matchup at 3:05 p.m. Saturday.
Friday’s matchup will feature an Atlantic Sun Conference first-teamer, Ian Martinez-McGraw for the Bisons, while Vandy (42-19) will trot out SEC Pitcher of the Year and a 2015 Louisville Slugger All-American, Carson Fulmer.
Martinez-McGraw got his first career start against the Dores back on Feb. 19, 2014. The knuckleballer tossed 8.0 innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits with three strikeouts and four walks.
Lipscomb – Ian Martinez-McGraw – RHP (7-3, 2.50 ERA, 97.1 IP, 36 R, 27 ER, 57 K, 40 BB)
Vanderbilt – Carson Fulmer – RHP (11-2, 1.97 ERA, 100.2 IP, 28 R, 22 ER, 136 K, 38 BB)
Lipscomb knocked off then-No. 1 Vanderbilt 3-1 back on April 7. Freshman Brady Puckett threw a gem scattering five hits in 7.1 innings on the mound. He allowed just one run while punching out six and walking two. It was the lowest run total for the Dores in 29 games.
Redshirt senior Josh Lee, a former Commodore in 2012, drove in all three runs for the Bisons, going 2-for-3 at the plate. With Lipscomb already leading 1-0 in the sixth, Lee corked the first pitch he saw just short of the wall in left centerfield for his first career triple.
Lipscomb is just 2-10 in its program history at Hawkins Field. The only other win came in 2006 when the Bisons brought home a 11-8 decision.
Six current Purple and Gold hurlers have faced Vandy over three years. They have combined for a 2.37 ERA (5 ER in 19 IP).
Lipscomb is in a Regional for just the second time in program history. The Bisons won the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament back in 2008 with the likes of current starting catcher for the Baltimore Orioles, Caleb Joseph and former reliever for the Colorado Rockies, Rex Brothers.
The Bisons knocked off #1 seed Georgia in Athens 10-7 before falling to Georgia Tech (6-3) and UGA (14-3) in the next two games.
Lipscomb enters regional play on a 7-game win streak, the longest of the season. It marks the third winning streak of at least five games this season.
The Bisons have won a NCAA-best and school record 15-straight games away from Nashville. The streak started with the 3-1 win at Vanderbilt back on April 7. The last road loss came on April 4 to Jacksonville, 11-6.
MARTINEZ-MCGRAW MAKING HIS MARK
Senior Ian Martinez-McGraw’s win last week in the A-Sun Tournament opener marked the 16th of his two-year career. That is tied with Rex Brothers for the second-most victories in the Purple and Gold since joining the Division I ranks. He is three wins behind Brandon McClurg’s 19.
SMALL BALL WORKING
Lipscomb ranks third in the country with 35 bunt singles. Freshman leadoff Michael Gigliotti is tops in the nation with 22. He is followed by Hunter Hanks with five. The Bisons have put the ball in play via the bunt 118 times, tallying 60 sacrifices (19th in NCAA) and 35 hits in 58 recorded at-bats (.603).
Most Bunt Singles in 2015 (As of 5/27/15)
1. Campbell 37
2. Coastal Carolina 36
3. Lipscomb 35
East Carolina 35
5. Auburn 32
IT STARTS AT THE TOP
Freshman centerfielder Michael Gigliotti is the spark that makes the Bisons’ offense go. He is batting .341 with 77 hits, 17 stolen bases and a nation leading 22 bunt singles. He has been one of the hottest players in the league since April 3, riding a career-best 30-game on-base streak. In that stretch Lipscomb is 22-8, including a season-best seven-game win streak to end the regular season.
GO JOHNNY GO
Senior Jonathan Allison ripped a game-winning triple in the eighth inning last week to down FGCU in its tournament opener. That gives him seven for his career, tying him atop the school’s NCAA career chart.
As a team the Bisons tout the 7th-best fielding percentage in the nation - .979. They have made just 48 errors in 2252 total chances.
MASSEY AMONG NATION’S BEST
Senior Grant Massey is one of 25 players on the newest Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year Award watch list released 5/15. He is second on the list in fielding percentage - .982. He backed up the recognition by being named the A-Sun’s Defensive Player of the Year. Massey had just five errors in 273 total chances. Three of those came in his last five regular season games.
“NOT” CAUGHT RED HANDED
Lipscomb ranks 20th nationally, having swiped 90 stolen bases this season. That is just three off from tying the school’s single-season record of 93 in 2010.
The Bisons have registered 22 non-conference victories, which are the most for Lipscomb since joining the A-Sun.