MOBILE, Ala. – After surrendering a five-run inning in defeat on Friday, the Lipscomb baseball team flipped the script to give Alabama a little dose of its own medicine on Saturday.
Trailing by two runs entering the sixth, the Bisons rallied with a seven-run frame to upend the Crimson Tide 7-3 and even the series in front of 2,270 fans at Hank Aaron Stadium in Mobile.
“I am so proud of our team,” Lipscomb skipper Jeff Forehand said. “The way we battled back after losing a tough one last night, I couldn’t be happier. The same thing happened in the big scoring inning for us today that happened against us last night.
“I talked to our team last night that we could not give up those freebies and tonight it looked like we learned from it.”
Alabama (8-6) took control in the first with a RBI-double before adding another in the second on a two-out single from Riley Colburn.
“I was in a little bit of a funk early on and just couldn’t finish guys,” Bisons starting pitcher Nick Andros said. “But once I started going after them and let our defense do what they do best, it worked out well for us.”
The Bisons were able to get a few hits early, but had trouble stringing them together. From the third inning through the fifth, Lipscomb managed just one base runner, but was able to break the game wide open in the sixth.
Lipscomb (8-3) quickly loaded the bases in the top of the frame when Adam Lee drew a leadoff walk, Michael Gigliotti singled to center and Grant Massey reached on a walk. Jonathan Allison stepped up once again and delivered a RBI-single to left field to bring home Adam Lee for the Bisons’ first tally.
Alabama then decided to pull starter Will Carter, an East Tennessee State transfer, and replace him with Jay Shaw, who quickly issued back-to-back walks to Hunter Hanks and Allan Hooker to plate two more.
After another pitching change from the Tide, Forehand decided to pinch hit for freshman designated hitter Tyler Brown. The move paid off as redshirt senior Josh Lee ripped a bases-clearing double into the left centerfield gap and then had the awareness to take third on a throw to the plate.
“It was a good moment for our team,” Josh Lee said. “The guys before me worked some good at-bats to get us in that position. My number was called and I just went up there trusting in my approach and had a good outcome.
“I am not up there looking for doubles, the ball just seems to bounce that way for me. “The guys keep joking around with me every time I get a hit saying, ‘Dude you keep hitting all of the doubles, save some for the rest of us.’ They think I forgot how to hit singles.”
All five of his hits this season have been doubles.
Junior catcher Chucky Vazquez followed and rounded out the Bisons’ scoring with a sacrifice fly to right to bring around Josh Lee.
Alabama tacked on one more in the eighth when Kyle Overstreet knocked in Mickey White, who reached base on a one-out double down the left field line two batters earlier.
Andros (1-0) threw a gem for the Bisons to record his first win of the season.
“What a performance from Nick,” Forehand said. “Once we got him the lead, he got a little momentum going and was able to give us a couple of more innings. It is easy to pitch when you have some room to work with and I could tell he smelled it a little bit and just wanted to get us as far as he could."
After having trouble through the first two frames, the senior southpaw settled down and retired 15 of his last 19 batters faced. Andros worked a career-best seven innings and gave up two earned runs on six hits. He matched his yearly total with a season-high seven strikeouts and only walked one. He also threw a career-high 110 pitches.
“I think I had some jitters in my first two starts this year and was just trying to do too many things, but today I went out there and just threw the ball and didn’t think about things too much,” Andros said.
“We wanted to make it a focus today to throw strikes and not get behind in counts and just give our defense a chance to make plays.”
Freshman Jeffrey Passantino came on in eighth and tossed the final two innings. He surrendered one run on three hits and struck out two.
Will Carter (1-1) took the loss for Alabama after working five innings. He gave up four earned runs on five hits, while striking out four and walking two.
- Alabama now leads the all-time series 3-1.
- The win halted a 14-game losing streak to SEC foes and the first win since downing Kentucky 10-8 in Lexington on May 12, 2010.
- Andros’ seven K’s are tied for the second most for his career. It is the fourth time he achieved the feat. He struck out a career best eight batters in a win over FGCU in last year’s A-Sun tournament.
- Andros made his third start of the season and the sixth of his Bison career.
- Josh Lee now has a double in four straight games and is a perfect 2-for-2 this season with the bases loaded.
- The seven run streak continues as Lipscomb has won every game where it scored at least seven runs.
- Gigliotti and Allison led the Bisons with two hits apiece for their team-leading fifth multi-hit game of the season
- Vazquez recorded his second career steal in the second inning.
The Bisons and Tide meet again on Sunday for a 2 p.m. rubber match. The Bisons will trot junior Denton Norman to the hill with a 1-0 record and a 7.00 ERA
“It is definitely a huge win for our program,” Josh Lee said. “Our team came here to Mobile with the mindset that we aren’t a mid-major and that we can compete with anyone in the country. Now we just need to come back tomorrow with the same mentality, because they are no different than a La Salle, Butler or any other team in our conference.”