DELAND, Fla. – The Lipscomb baseball team withstood a 1 hour 13 minute rain delay and an eighth-inning rally to knock off the home-standing Stetson Hatters, 4-3, in 10 innings of the opening game of an Atlantic Sun Conference series at Melching Field Thursday night.
The Bisons (28-25, 10-9 ASUN) put the first runs of the night on the board in the top of the third to take a 2-0 advantage. With one out in the inning Hunter Hanks reached second base on a throwing error from Stetson’s third baseman. Michael Gigliotti then yanked a ball into the right field corner for his fourth triple of the season to score Hanks. Lee Solomon followed with a RBI groundout to first base, pushing the Lipscomb lead to 2-0.
Lipscomb tacked on another tally in the top of the fifth when Solomon chopped a ball into left field to score Allan Hooker from second and extend the lead to 3-0. Hooker drew a leadoff walk and then moved to second on a stolen base to get things rolling.
Stetson (25-27, 9-10 ASUN) managed to get its first run of the game in the bottom of the sixth off of Puckett. Following a leadoff walk for Colton Lighter, center fielder Vance Vizcaino ripped a single down the right field line to put men on the corners with no outs. Matt Morales then grounded into a 4-6-3 double play, but Lighter scored from third to cut the Bisons lead to 3-1.
Down to their final five outs of the game, the Hatters finally began to get things going at the plate. After the first batter grounded out, Kevin Fagan drew a free pass and pinch hitter Jacob Koos singled into right field to put men on the corners and end Kyle Weller’s night on the mound.
Southpaw Cody Glenn came on in relief and got the second out on a grounder to Solomon at second base, but a run scored for Stetson. Morales then looped a single to left center to score Koos for the game-tying run at 3-3.
Jaesung Hwang replaced Glenn and got Cory Reid to punch out and end the frame.
After neither team could come up with a run in the ninth, the game went into extra innings.
Gigliotti reached on the third throwing error of the night from Stetson to get it started. Solomon then ripped a ball up the middle and advanced to second on the throw to third trying to get Gigliotti.
Adam Lee then knocked in the eventual game-winning run on a single to right field.
Hwang got the win and improved to 3-1 on the year after tossing the final 2.1 frames. He did not allow a run or a hit while striking out two.
Brady Puckett got the start and was his usual self. The sophomore, already on short rest, was lifted after 5.2 frames of work with the conference championship looming next week. He allowed just one run on three hits, while ringing up five and walking one.
With the win, the Bisons move into fourth place in the league standings since Florida Gulf Coast dropped its game to Kennesaw State Thursday.
Around the Horn:
- With three stolen bases Lipscomb now has 91 on the year, tying last season’s mark for the second most in a single season in school history. The record is 93 set in 2010.
- Lipscomb 13-game streak of reaching double-digit hits came to an end Thursday as the Bisons recorded just seven.
- Puckett struck out five batters for the 12th time in 14 starts this season.
- Hooker’s stolen base was his 12th theft on the year.
- Adam Lee swiped his 19th stolen base of the season while Hooker (12) and Watson (6) also picked up thefts.
- The Bisons left nine men on base compared to Stetson’s five.
- Lipscomb is now 4-1 in extra innings this season.
- Solomon picked up his 14th multi-hit and 14th multi-RBI game of the year. Both are tops on the team.
The Bisons and Hatters will resume action at 5:30 p.m. Friday for game two of the series. Sophomore Jeffrey Passantino will get the start and carries a 5-4 record with a 3.87 ERA. He will face off against Stetson southpaw Adam Schaly (1-5, 4.87 ERA).
Change of Time:
With the travel time returning home for the Bisons on Saturday being limited, Stetson has agreed to move the finale’s start time up to 11 a.m. local time. That is a 10 a.m. first pitch back in Nashville.