NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Led by Chucky Vazquez’s three doubles, the Lipscomb baseball team produced a 12-hit performance to soar past the visiting Golden Eagles of Tennessee Tech 12-8 on Tuesday night at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium.
Vazquez was one of three Bisons to record multiple hits in the victory, while Lipscomb’s hit total reached the double-digit plateau for the ninth consecutive game. He finished the night 3-for-5 with three RBI, three doubles and two runs scored.
"We need Chucky to start swinging the bat like we know he can," Lipscomb skipper Jeff Forehand said. "He has had some tough luck lately as he has been hitting the ball well, but hasn't got much to fall. It was great to see him get some monster hits tonight and I can't wait to see what he is going to do the rest of the way."
Making his sixth career start on the bump, freshman Adam Stewart tossed what was perhaps one of his better games of the season. The right-hander from Homewood, Alabama worked a career best 6.1 innings on 93 pitches. He struck out six, walked two and allowed two runs on nine hits.
"Adam pitched a good game," Forehand said. "He was commanding the strike zone, which is what he typically has not been doing as of late. I loved to see him making improvements. This was a good game from him."
After Tennessee Tech (25-21) took the early 1-0 advantage in the top of the first, Lipscomb (25-23) responded with two runs in the bottom half before tacking on tallies in each of the next three innings.
Freshman third baseman Zeke Dodson picked up his lone hit of the night in the bottom of the first when he laced a ball into left center for a game-tying RBI double. Adam Lee, who reached on a single in the previous at-bat, came around to score on the play.
Dodson would then score on a wild pitch two batters later to give the Bisons a 2-1 lead.
Leading 3-1 in the third, Vazquez came to the dish with no outs and the bases loaded. The senior backstop roped a line drive down the left field line to bring home two runs. Sophomore left fielder Tyler Brown then jumped on the first pitch he saw and ripped a RBI single to center field. Junior shortstop Hunter Hanks followed with a double down the third base line that allowed both Brown and Vazquez to score and put Lipscomb ahead 8-1.
Freshman right fielder Von Watson got in on the run-producing act as he drove in Dodson with a single up the middle in the sixth to push the Bisons lead to 10-2.
Things began to get weary for the Purple and Gold in the eighth frame as Tennessee Tech used four hits and three walks against four different Lipscomb pitchers to plate five runs and cut the deficit to 10-7.
However, the Bisons laid those reservations to rest in the home half of the stanza by tacking on two insurance tallies. Watson picked up his second base knock of the evening on a RBI-single that scored Dodson before Vazquez capped his three-hit performance with a blast off the top of the wall in left to bring home Watson and stretch the margin to 12-7.
Tech added a run in the ninth before senior Jaesung Hwang closed the door for his first save of the season.
Stewart picked up the win and improved to 4-2 on the year, while Tech's Ty King took his first defeat of the season, falling to 2-1.
Around the Horn:
- Time of game was 3:43 making it the fifth longest game of the season for Lipscomb.
- The three doubles mark a career high for Vazquez in a single game.
- Adam Lee tacked on his Atlantic Sun-leading 53rd RBI of the campaign. He also extended his hitting streak to nine games.
- Stewart’s six punch outs were the second most of his career.
- Dodson extended his career best hitting streak to 10 games. He also tied his career high with three runs scored and has now crossed the dish in six straight contests.
- Dodson raised his team-leading batting average to .338 in the win.
- Lee Solomon finished without a hit, but he did swipe his league-leading 23rd stolen base.
- Brown’s RBI was his fifth of the season and the first since March 26 against Mississippi Valley State.
- Hanks (2-for-4, 2 RBI) recorded a hit for the ninth time in his last 10 games, including his fifth multi-hit game in that span.
- Hooker drew two walks in a game for the first time since March 6 against Alabama A&M.
- Seven different pitchers took the mound for Lipscomb.
- Hwang has now thrown at least 2.0 frames three times in his last five outings.
The Bisons stay in Nashville to host Florida Gulf Coast in their last home conference series of the season. The three-game set will get under way with a 6 p.m. first pitch on Friday. Before the tilt, Lipscomb will recognize its 2016 Ken Dugan Award winner.
"The guys understand the situation and what is at stake this weekend," Forehand said. "They will be ready to play for sure. It's a big, emotional weekend coming up with the Dugan Award and Senior Day festivities, but it's a weekend that will be fun. I wish we could turn around and get going tomorrow."