NASHVILLE, Tenn.- Lipscomb baseball used a hit parade to defeat the Eastern Illinois Panthers 16-9 in a midweek tilt Tuesday evening at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium. The Bisons finished with season highs in runs and hits in the first-ever meeting between the two schools.
“I am happy to see the offense get back on track after the last two games in Georgia where we couldn’t move the ball at all,” Lipscomb skipper Jeff Forehand said. “I look back at the stat sheet and see we had a few guys with three knocks. That is what we like to see.”
Lipscomb scored in seven of the eight innings in which it batted. The Bisons did most of their damage in the seventh and eighth when they combined to score nine runs on seven hits.
Lipscomb jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first when Von Watson flied out on a sacrifice to right field, allowing Lee Solomon to cross the plate. The Panthers came back in the second inning with three runs.
The Bisons then answered Eastern Illinois’ big frame with three runs in the bottom of the second. Allan Hooker led off the second inning with a double and advanced to third on a single from Jeffrey Crisan. Senior shortstop Hunter Hanks singled through the left side to plate Hooker. Crisan scored on a sacrifice fly from Hooker and Adam Lee singled in Hanks to put the Bisons on top 4-3.
The Panthers stormed back by plating three runs in the third to take a 6-4 lead. Jason Scholl and Nick Maton each drilled RBI doubles and Mitch Gasbarro scored on a wild pitch.
Lipscomb clawed right back with runs in the third and fourth. Cade Sorrells doubled down the right field line to score Zeke Dodson in the third. Dodson then doubled in Von Watson in the fourth to knot the score at 6-6.
The Bisons regained the lead for good in the sixth. Michael Gigliotti drew a walk and then swiped second and third base. Lee roped a double to left field to score Gigliotti.
Lipscomb added some insurance by batting around in the seventh. Gigliotti perfectly placed a bunt, allowing Hooker to score for a successful suicide squeeze. Solomon lined a single to left field to drive in Hanks. A wild pitch two batters later allowed Solomon to cross the plate. Lee scored when Tyler Bethune drew a bases loaded walk to give the Bisons an 11-6 advantage.
Eastern Illinois did not go down lightly. The Panthers scored three runs in the top of the eighth to trim Lipscomb’s lead to 11-9.
The Bisons piled on five runs in the eighth to blow the game open. Solomon drilled a single to score Chucky Vazquez. Lee and Dodson also had RBI hits in the frame and Bethune reached on an error, which allowed Watson to score.
Freshman starting pitcher Adam Stewart had a bit of a rocky outing, going 2.2 innings and giving up six earned runs. He was backed up by five other arms in the 6.1 innings from the Lipscomb bullpen. Freshman Alex Dorso tossed a career best 2.1 scoreless innings and fanned four batters en route to his first career win.
“When we had some trouble out of the bullpen, but Dorso came in there and did a fantastic job,” Forehand said. “He got a big strikeout for us in the fifth when Eastern Illinois had a guy on third. It was great to see him pick up his first career win.”
Junior Dallas Gibson also pitched two scoreless innings and senior Kyle Weller picked up the save by pitching the final 1.2 innings and striking out three Panther hitters.
Around the Horn:
- Lipscomb pounded out a season-high 19 hits in the contest. Every Bison starter recorded a hit and five batters had multi-hit games.
- The 16 runs scored by the Bisons were a season high as were their five doubles.
- Lee tied his career high with four base knocks. He finished the night 4-4 with 3 RBI, 2 runs scored, and 2 doubles. The senior first baseman leads the team with 21 RBI this year.
- Weller’s save is his second of the season.
- Gigliotti stole two bases Tuesday and now has an Atlantic Sun leading 11 this season. He also recorded his 10th bunt single of the year.
- Solomon tied career highs in hits (3), RBI (3) and runs scored (3).
- Dodson had a career high three hits in the win. His double in the fourth was the first of his young career.
- Senior backstop Chucky Vazquez improved his team-leading on-base streak to 12 games.
- Solomon, Lee and Hooker all picked up their fifth multi-hit game of the year.
- Lee nabbed his team-leading fifth multi-RBI game of the year. Solomon now has four.
- Hooker tied his career high with three base knocks.
- Dorso’s four punch outs are a career high.
- Gibson set a career high in innings pitched (2.0) and strikeouts (3).
- Quinn Moynihan had his first career sacrifice bunt in the seventh frame.
- Watson drew a career best three walks.
Lipscomb will host Eastern Michigan this weekend for a three game series. Friday’s opener is set for 6 p.m. at Dugan Field.
“Eastern Michigan is a tough ball team,” said Forehand. “They, like us, love to run the bases. We are going to have to be sharp, but we are looking forward to the test.”