Baseball hit the diamond Saturday to open spring practice
Saturday, January 24, 2015
By Kirk Downs
Baseball hit the diamond Saturday to open spring practice

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Looking to keep the momentum going after an outstanding finish to last season, the Lipscomb baseball team began its first full spring practice of 2015 Saturday at Dugan Field.

Spring practice officially opened on Friday, but due to the rain and frigid temperatures outside, the Bisons were forced inside for batting practice.

“Unfortunately we didn’t get to go outside yesterday because of the weather,” Lipscomb coach Jeff Forehand said. “But today we had a great day and were able to double up and get a couple of shorter games in. It’s always fun when the first practice comes around and that showed in our energy and effort. We had a good day today.”

The Bisons are coming off a 2014 season that saw them win 33 games, the most since the 2008 season.

It took a while for Lipscomb to get going out of the gate, starting the season 2-8, but once things started to click, the wins kept coming. The Purple and Gold went on a school record 10-game win streak, won 7-of-9 Atlantic Sun Conference series and fought its way to the A-Sun championship game before falling to a red-hot Kennesaw State team that won its way into a Super Regional.

A key ingredient to the success in 2015 will be the pitching. Lipscomb returns its top two weekend starters in Ian Martinez-McGraw (9-3, 3.77 ERA) and Denton Norman (7-6, 3.43 ERA). Southpaw Nick Andros (5-3, 3.28 ERA) did most of his work out of the bullpen, but will be making his way into the weekend rotation for his senior campaign.

Jason Ziegler (2-2, 3.10 ERA, 5 SV) and Griffin Moore will be called upon to close the door from the bullpen. Moore spent his first three seasons as a designated hitter and first baseman, but after touching 94 from the hill he was moved to pitcher. 

Anxious to see how his pitchers would perform in the first scrimmage, Forehand liked what he saw on Saturday.

“For the most part all of our guys threw it pretty good, especially for the first outing,” Forehand said. “Each time they go out on the mound though, they will continue to get better and better. They want to think they can pick right up where they left off last May, but it’s not like that. It is more of a gradual pace.”

Lipscomb will also get Jaesung Hwang and Will Blalock back after missing last season due to injury.

The Bisons are slated to hit Dugan Field again Sunday afternoon for another intrasquad scrimmage.

“We will continue to scrimmage on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday up until the first game,” Forehand said. “Our plan is to get the players into that routine because that is when we will be playing once the season starts. We may have to adjust to weather some, but we will get right back out there tomorrow and will take either Monday or Wednesday off.”

All scrimmages this spring are open to the public.

The Bisons open 2015 hosting Butler for in a three-game set at Dugan Field. First pitch of the season is scheduled for 4 p.m. Friday Feb. 13. Following the opening series Lipscomb travels to Murfreesboro to take on Middle Tennessee in the first midweek tilt of the season before coming home for the “Mule Mix Classic”. The round robin will bring Western Illinois, Valparaiso and Ohio to Nashville Feb. 20-22.

Season tickets are on sale now by calling 615-966-5456.