NASHVILLE, Tenn.- The Lipscomb baseball team had to hold off a furious Tennessee Tech rally in the ninth, but emerged with an 11-9 victory over the Golden Eagles on Tuesday at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium.
"Tonight was one of those games that you had to let develop,” Lipscomb coach Jeff Forehand said. “I told our guys at the end of the game, that I had a hunch we would start slow after a big weekend at Auburn.
“But we have a good team and I had confidence that we would get it going. As a coach you just sometimes get those feelings and tonight was one of those nights. We will learn from this and start faster next time.”
The Bisons plated four runs in the bottom of the eighth and took the lead for good when Zeke Dodson lined a two-RBI double to left center to push the go-ahead runs across the plate.
Lipscomb starting pitcher Dayton Tripp did not have his best stuff on Tuesday afternoon. The junior righty went 5.1 innings and surrendered six earned runs. Four Bison relievers pitched the final 3.2 innings.
The first four innings belonged to Tennessee Tech and the Golden Eagles took a 5-0 lead on home runs from Matt Jones and Ryan Flick.
Lipscomb (8-4) played station-to-station baseball and plated five runs to knot the score at five in the bottom of the fifth. Blake Thomas got the Bisons on the board with an RBI single before Michael Gigliotti drew a walk to load the bases. Lee Solomon was hit by a pitch, which allowed Jeffrey Crisan to score.
Cade Sorrells drove in Thomas with an RBI groundout and Gigliotti crossed the plate on a wild pitch moments later. Jake Perry plated Solomon with an RBI single to knot the score at five.
The two teams traded runs in the sixth and seventh before Lipscomb broke the game open in the bottom of the eighth.
In addition to Dodson’s clutch hit, Solomon scored on a wild pitch and Perry lined an RBI single in the eighth to provide some much-needed insurance.
Tennessee Tech made things close by scoring two runs in the top of the ninth, but Lipscomb closer Kyle Kemp struck out Alex Junior looking for the final out of the game.
Senior Denton Norman pitched a perfect eighth inning and earned the win, moving him to 1-1 on the year. It is his first victory since downing Georgetown on March 29, 2015.
Around the Horn:
- Gigliotti drew a pair of walks to bring his season total to 16. He has drawn a walk in all but two games.
- Sorrells and Gigliotti have reached based in all 12 games this season.
- Six Lipscomb hitters registered both a hit and an RBI on Tuesday.
- Thomas finished 3-for-5, scored two runs, and picked up an RBI. It's his second consecutive 3-hit performance after going 3-for-3 Sunday at Auburn.
- Dodson and Perry each had two hits and two RBI. Dodson now has a team high five multi-hit games and a four-game hit streak.
- Lipscomb recorded a season high five doubles in the win.
- The Bisons batted .333 as a team (11-for-33). Seven players picked up a hit, seven recorded a RBI and seven different scored a run.
“It’s coming. We are coming,” Forehand said. “We aren’t there yet, but it’s progressing. I am looking forward to when it totally starts progressing. Once we can start moving on the base paths, the bats are going to come alive.
“And once we get clicking, I think everyone is finally going to see what this offense is capable of. It’s coming.”
The Bisons will welcome the No. 19 Michigan Wolverines to the Music City this weekend for three games. Game one is set for Friday at 4 p.m. at Dugan Field.
“We will start working on Michigan as early as tonight,” Forehand said. “When you get a top-25 team coming in it’s going to be tough no matter who you are. They are going to pitch it well, hit it well and field it well.
“We are going to stick with what we know best and hopefully we can keep this momentum going. It’s going to be a good weekend.”
Stay tuned for more information in the event of inclement weather this weekend. Updates will be posted on LipscombSports.com/Baseball. You can also follow @BisonBaseball on Twitter, @LipscombBaseball on Instagram or ‘Like’ the Bisons on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LUBaseball.