NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Tevin Symonette hit a grand slam as part of a six-run third inning to power the Lipscomb Bisons to a 14-5 victory over the Alabama A&M Bulldogs Saturday afternoon at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium. With the win, the Bisons clinched the series win.
“After seeing last night’s performance, it was fun today to see us get our offense back on track,” Lipscomb head coach Jeff Forehand said. “I thought we played much better all the way around today. And it’s always good to get a series win. “
Sophomore righty Jeffrey Passantino picked up the win on the mound, his third in as many starts this season. He went six innings, giving up nine hits and allowing four runs. The Fort Myers, Florida native struck out six Bulldogs and allowed only one walk, his first free pass of the season.
“Anytime you can get a good starting performance from your starting pitcher, it is just a good way to get the game going,” Forehand said. “Jeffrey gave us a pretty good game. He pitched six innings and struck out six. That put us in a good position to win.”
The Bisons (8-3) blew the game open in the bottom of the third. Lee Solomon grounded into a double play, but drove in Zeke Dodson to get the scoring started. Symonette provided the highlight of the game with a line drive that carried over the left center field fence for a grand slam. Hunter Hanks, Adam Lee and Von Watson each scored on the play. Allan Hooker scored on a wild pitch later in the inning to put the Bisons ahead 6-0.
Alabama A&M (2-10) got on the board in the top of the fourth when Dylan Payne singled to right field, allowing Eugene Freeman to score. The Bulldogs would go on to plate two runs in the fifth and one run in both the sixth and seventh innings. Alabama A&M pounded out 12 base hits in the game.
Gigliotti scored on a balk in the fourth inning to extend Lipscomb’s lead to 7-1. The Bisons plated three runs on one hit in the fifth. Dodson and Hanks each scored on Bulldog throwing errors. Lee picked up an RBI when his sacrifice fly scored Gigliotti.
Lipscomb’s offense showed no signs of fading in the latter innings. Sophomore catcher Jeffrey Crisan drove Hooker home with a double in the sixth inning. Solomon picked up an RBI on a groundout in the seventh, and Hooker singled in Watson later in the frame. The Bisons scored their 14th and final run in the eighth when Gigliotti’s sacrifice fly plated Dodson.
“When Tevin hit that grand slam in the third, that really gave us a big lift, especially with two outs,” Forehand said. “Michael had four hits today, was on base every time and stole a few bags. If we can continue to get the production from the top of the lineup to the bottom like we did today, we will be ok."
John Pryor relieved Passantino in the seventh and pitched the final three innings to earn his second save of the season. He gave up three hits and allowed one earned run, while striking out two batters.
Around the Horn:
- Lipscomb now leads the all-time series with the Bulldogs 4-1, winning its third straight in the matchup.
- Gigliotti extended his on-base streak to 43 games with a single in the first inning. He went 4-4 with 3 runs scored and an RBI and two stolen bases.
- Symonette’s home run was his second of the year.
- Lipscomb’s 14 base knocks was its most of the season.
- Passantino has 20 punch outs in 18.2 innings of work this season, while only allowing one walk.
- The Bisons walked 10 times on Saturday, their highest output of free passes this season.
- Seven of the nine Lipscomb starters registered a hit.
- Five Bisons scored multiple runs. Gigliotti and Dodson each crossed the plate three times.
Lipscomb will wrap up its series with Alabama A&M on Sunday. Sophomore left hander Brady Puckett (2-0, 1.29 ERA) will get the start on the mound for the Bisons. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Dugan Field.