NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A pair of freshmen provided the extra-inning lift for the Lipscomb baseball team in a 7-6 win Atlantic Sun Conference win over USC Upstate on Saturday afternoon at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium in Nashville.
With runners on the corners and one away in the bottom of the tenth, freshman third Zeke Dodson sent a pitch into right field allowing first baseman Adam Lee to cruise across the plate as the Bisons (17-14, 1-1 A-Sun) evened the series with the Spartans (15-16, 1-3 A-Sun).
“Zeke was in a position to do it and he works on it all of the time,” said Lipscomb head coach Jeff Forehand. “It couldn’t happen to a better kid. It’s fun for him to be able to walk it off like that.”
Freshman Adam Stewart picked up his third win of the season on the hill in relief. The righty came on with two outs in the ninth and worked the 10th allowing one hit and notching one strikeout to secure the win.
The Bisons got on the board first in the second inning with a solo blast from right fielder Allan Hooker before adding runs in the fifth and sixth innings to take a 3-0 advantage. Upstate managed to slip across their first run of the game in the top of the seventh on a sacrifice fly ending the shutout bid for Lipscomb starter Jeffrey Passantino.
Lipscomb responded with a three-run bottom of the frame to extend the cushion to 6-1 as Lee Solomon and Adam Lee each collected an RBI. That margin would be short-lived however as USC Upstate brought the game even with a 5-run eighth inning.
With one away in the eighth, the Bisons got a tailor-made double play ball that would have ended the inning but a misplay found both runners safe and extended the frame. That would be key as the Spartans would eventually load the bases and a diving attempt on a double in center field turned a one-run single into a bases-clearing double. Upstate would then tack on another run in the stanza to tie the game at six and eventually send it into extra innings.
Passantino dropped his team-leading ERA to 2.28 after tossing seven and one-third innings on Saturday. He allowed one earned run and five hits and fanned a pair of Spartans.
“I just can’t say enough about him,” said Forehand. “Every weekend he gives us this kind of effort. Unfortunately, we made a mistake and could have been out of the inning with him just giving up one run but it’s a team game.”
- Sophomore Michael Gigliotti collected his 13th bunt single of the season in the fifth.
- Solomon collected his team best 21st stolen base with a theft in the third inning.
- Gigliotti’s run was his 34th time to cross the plate this season, the most of any Bison.
- The Bisons 14 hits mark the 12th time this season that Lipscomb has had 10 or more hits in a contest.
- Passantino allowing just one run marked the sixth time in eight outings that he has held his opponent to one run or less.
Up next: The Bisons wrap up the three-game series with a rubber game on Sunday at 1 p.m. That contest will air on ESPN3 with Justin Seamon and Robert Harper calling the action from Dugan Field.