May 17, 2016123456789RHE
Austin Peay000010141782
Lipscomb0300000148112
PitchingIPHRERBBSO
Win: DORSO (2-3) 1.011100
Loss: CARKUFF (5-1) 1.054433
BattingABRHRBIBBHR
GRAY (APSU) 422111
SMITH (APSU) 222220
ROBLES (APSU) 312110
HOOKER (LIP) 513200
Hooker caps 4-run ninth inning with walk-off over Govs
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
By Kirk Downs
Hooker caps 4-run ninth inning with walk-off over Govs

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Allan Hooker stepped in with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and delivered a walk-off RBI single to cap a four-run rally and lift the Lipscomb baseball team to victory over visiting Austin Peay 8-7 in the regular season home finale Tuesday night at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium.

“What a win for our group,” Lipscomb skipper Jeff Forehand said. “I have said it time and time again, ‘this team never gives up.’ I am not sure how many walk-offs this is for us at home, but we have a good many.

“No matter what the score is we always feel we are going to win. We put together some great at-bats late and it paid off. I can’t be more proud of this bunch than I am tonight.”

Trailing 7-4 entering the final frame, the Bisons drew walks in each of the first three at-bats to load the bases. Following a meeting on the mound, Austin Peay’s stud reliever Jared Carkuff came back to strike out Lee Solomon and Adam Lee on six pitches.

Freshman third baseman Zeke Dodson then came through with a single to left field allowing Chucky Vazquez to score and trim the Govs lead. Tyler Bethune was brought on to pinch hit and he did not disappoint as the redshirt junior leveled the game with a 2-RBI single through the left side, setting the stage for Hooker.

Already with two hits in the game, Hooker stepped to the plate and quickly found himself in a 0-2 hole. The sophomore right fielder then came through with the game-winning knock on the very next pitch to push Lipscomb’s overall record to 27-25.

“Fortunately our guys were able to get some great at-bats in the ninth,” Forehand said. “I can’t say enough about Tyler Bethune. He is always prepared for that pinch-hit role and he stepped up tonight in a big way for us. I am so proud of him getting the job done.

“And then Hook comes up with yet another big knock and that was huge. He immediately went down 0-2 in the count but credit to him he continued to battle and got a pitch he liked and game up with the game-winning hit. This is a great momentum builder for our team going into the weekend.”

Freshman Adam Stewart had another solid performance on the mound, tossing 6.0 innings. He allowed just one run on four hits and struck out three.

“Adam had a great start tonight,” Forehand said. “He allowed just one run in six complete innings. He was in command and held a pretty potent offense in check. He has continued to progress as the season went along and I could not be more proud than I was tonight.”

The Bisons took an early 3-0 lead in the second stanza as Von Watson drove in a run on a single down the right field line to score Dodson.

Hooker, who reached on a single before moving to third on Watson’s base hit, scored after a throw from the Govs catcher trying to gun Watson stealing second skipped away from the shortstop.

Two batters later Hunter Hanks blasted a double into left center field to plate Watson.

Austin Peay (27-20) chipped away at the Lipscomb lead with a run in the fifth and seventh innings before pounding the Bisons bullpen for four tallies in the eighth to grab its first lead of the night.

Perhaps the inning that turned the game back in Lipscomb’s favor was the bottom of the eighth after the Bisons took a four-run inning from the Govs on the chin in the top half of the inning and responded with a run of their own.

After two quick outs, Adam Lee found a way to reach base after Austin Peay’s third baseman threw the ball away on a grounder. Dodson kept things rolling with a walk to put two men on. Freshman Cade Sorrells pinch hit for Tevin Symonette and following a pitching change, blasted a ball up that deflected off the hurler for a single to load the bases.

Hooker followed with a high chopper to shortstop that looked to be the final out of the stanza, but the speedster used his wheels to leg out an infield single and allow Lee to score from third to cut it to 6-4.

“I felt we were able to turn the game in the eighth,” Forehand said. “Adam (Lee) was able to get on with two outs to begin a rally where we scratched a run across. It seemed to swing the momentum back in our favor and without that run, we may not win the game.”

The Govs then added an insurance run on a solo home run from left fielder Logan Gray to extend their lead to 7-4.

Carkuff (5-1) took the loss for APSU after being in line to grab the save entering the ninth. He pitched one inning and allowed four runs on five hits with three punch outs and three walks.

Alex Dorso (2-3) picked up the victory for Lipscomb after tossing 1.0 inning. He allowed one run on one hit.

Hooker led the way for the Bisons with a 3-for-5 night at the dish with two RBI. Dodson was the only other Bison with multiple hits, going 2-for-3. He drove in a run and scored twice.

Around the Horn:

  • Lipscomb picked up 11 hits in the win, pushing its double-digit hit streak to 12 games.
  • Eight different players recorded hits for the Bisons Tuesday, while seven scored runs.
  • Hanks picked up his 11thdouble of the season.
  • Both teams stranded six runners on base.
  • Watson swiped his fifth stolen base of the year.

Up Next:

The Bisons will wrap the 2016 regular season with a three-game series at Stetson beginning on Thursday at 5:30 p.m.