BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – After losing the first 14 road games to begin the season last year, the Lipscomb baseball team wanted to get off to a good start Tuesday in its first game away from Nashville in 2017.
The Bisons did just that, pounding out a season high 12 hits and scoring twice in the opening frame en route to a 10-4 victory over the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky at Nick Denes Field.
“I was really glad to see us play a complete game today,” Lipscomb skipper Jeff Forehand said. “We pitched well and our offense seemed to really click from the get go. We came up here and executed what we needed to do. It was just a really good team win for us.”
Junior first baseman Cade Sorrells continued to swing a hot bat Tuesday, finishing the night 3-for-5 with three RBI. He put the Bisons on the board in the opening frame with a high-chopping single over the pitcher’s head that brought home Michael Gigliotti and Lee Solomon to make it 2-0.
Junior transfer Dayton Tripp made his second midweek start of the season and pitched well. After giving up a base knock in the first inning, Tripp retired seven consecutive batters before running into a little trouble in the fourth.
Tripp plunked the first batter of the frame and then gave up a double to right center to put men in scoring position. A groundout from Kevin Lambert and a single from Steven DiPuglia brought two runs to level the contest at 2-2.
The Bisons (6-2) immediately responded with three runs in the fifth and never looked back.
Sorrells drove in his second and third RBI’s of the night on a single to right field before Allan Hooker delivered a RBI-single of his own to left, giving the Bisons a 5-2 lead.
An inning later, designated hitter Quinn Moynihan drove a lead-off double into left centerfield for his first career hit. Moynihan scored two batters later on a groundout by Blake Thomas. Gigliotti followed with a double to the wall in right center before advancing to third when the center fielder mishandled the ball trying to get it in. He scored the next batter on a ground ball by Solomon to extend the lead to 7-2.
After WKU scratched across a run in the bottom of the eighth, the Bisons responded with their second 3-run stanza of the night in the ninth.
Moynihan picked up the first RBI of his career on a bases-loaded walk before Joshua Martinez ended the Bisons scoring with a 2-RBI single to right field.
“It was a lot of fun to see our offense really get going from the first inning,” Forehand said. “I felt this was the most complete game we have played this season. We had people on base all day and a couple of guys in Quinn Moynihan and Josh Martinez got their first hits today. That is always great to see.”
Tripp picked up the win on the mound and moved to 2-0 on the season. He tossed 5.2 innings, giving up two runs on four hits, four walks and a strikeout.
Devon Loomis took the loss for WKU after entering in relief. He only pitched 1.1 frames, but surrendered three runs on two hits and a walk.
Around the Horn:
- The victory was the first for Lipscomb at Nick Denes Field since 2013.
- Gigliotti finished 2-for-4 at the plate with a career high-tying two doubles and his first multi-hit game of the season. He also scored a season high three runs.
- Martinez made his first start as a Bison and collected his first career hits, going 3-for-5 with two RBI and one run scored.
- Seniors John Pryor and Denton Norman made appearances out of the pen. Pryor has now worked 6.2 innings without giving up a run. He has seven strikeouts and is holding opponents to a .125 batting clip.
- Norman made his team high fifth appearance in the win, tossing the final 2.0 frames. He allowed two runs on four hits, two walks and three strikeouts.
- Solomon and Sorrells each picked up their third stolen base of the season.
- Solomon tied his career high with three runs scored.
- Lipscomb left eight men on base, compared to 11 for Western Kentucky.
- The Bisons ripped a season high three doubles.
Lipscomb continues its four-game road swing with a trip to SEC country this weekend for a 3-game series against Auburn Tigers. Friday’s first pitch on the Plains is set for 2 p.m. before Noon starts on Saturday and Sunday.
“Like I say all the time, every team is good and when you play them at their place, they are even better,” Forehand said. “It is going to be a tough test for us this weekend, but I think our guys will be ready for the challenge.”