NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Make it two straight days with a walk-off single for Lipscomb freshman third baseman Zeke Dodson, as the Lipscomb baseball team rallied for a 5-4 rubber game Atlantic Sun Conference decision over USC Upstate on Sunday afternoon at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium in Nashville.
The Bisons (18-14, 2-1 A-Sun) headed into the bottom of the ninth trailing 4-3 but sophomore center fielder Michael Gigliotti got the rally going right off the bat with a double to right center as part of a three-hit afternoon. Second baseman Lee Solomon moved Gigliotti up to third with a sacrifice bunt setting the table for first baseman Adam Lee, who laced a single to left over the drawn in Spartans (15-17, 1-4 A-Sun) infield to tie the game at four.
Lee then swiped second and baited USC Upstate’s Richie Lacell into trying to pick him off second and Lacell sent the throw into center field allowing Lee to skate over to third. That set things up for Dodson to be the hero for the second-straight day and the newcomer delivered in the clutch with a single to right field as the Lipscomb dugout poured out onto the field as Lee raced home.
“To do that once is great, but to do that two days in a row is pretty cool” said Lipscomb head coach Jeff Forehand. “Michael led off the ninth with that big double in the ninth and we executed and got him over. Adam then picked him up and got into scoring position for Zeke.
“I hope this builds a lot of confidence. Anytime you win a close game it’s got to elevate your confidence and enthusiasm of the team. Everybody in the Atlantic Sun is capable of winning the game and it’s going to be battles like this one all year.”
Freshman Kyle Kemp picked up the win in relief of sophomore starter Brady Puckett as the Bisons claimed the opening league series. Kemp worked the final two innings allowing one hit and a walk while fanning a trio of Upstate batters. Puckett went seven innings in his start allowing 11 hits, four runs and a walk while striking out eight.
Sophomore right fielder Tevin Symonette led the Purple and Gold offensively with a 4-for-4 afternoon at the dish.
- Gigliotti crossed the dish three times in the contest increasing his team lead to 37 on the season. The three tallies also tied his career high.
- Symonette’s four singles were a career high for the Freeport, Bahamas native.
- The Bisons collected leadoff hits in five of the nine innings.
- With the win, Lipscomb improved to 5-0 on Sunday at home.
- Puckett’s eight strikeouts marks the seventh time in eight games that he has K’d five or more batters.
- Kemp improved to 1-1 on the season with the win. Lacell took the loss for Upstate falling to 0-3.
- Both team struggled getting runners home as Upstate left 12 runners on while the Bisons stranded nine.
Up next: The Bisons continue home action on Tuesday night hosting rival Belmont at 6 p.m. at Dugan Field.