NEWARK, N.J. – The Lipscomb baseball team got hits from all nine starters in its lineup and an impressive performance from Jeffrey Passantino on the mound to roll past NJIT 11-2 Friday night in ASUN Conference action at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium in Newark, New Jersey.
With the win, the Bisons improved to 18-17 overall and 4-6 in conference action, while the Highlanders fell to 4-29 and 0-10. The win halted a three-game losing skid for Lipscomb.
In their first-ever trip to The Garden State, the Bisons scored seven times in the opening frame and pounded out 14 base hits.
“We had a great first inning, anytime you can score seven runs out of the gate it makes everything else run easier,” Lipscomb skipper Jeff Forehand said. “We also had good pitching from all our guys. This was a solid win all around.”
Four of the nine starters in the batting order had multiple hits, led by Zeke Dodson. The sophomore third baseman was 3-for-6 with two RBI and two runs. Junior catcher Jeffrey Crisan reached base in all but one plate appearance, posting a 2-for-3 night with two RBI, two walks and two runs.
Senior second baseman Hunter Hanks and junior designated hitter Jake Perry also collected multiple-hit efforts. Hanks continued his hot hitting by going 2-for-5 with two runs, a walk and a first-inning RBI double. Perry went 2-for-4 with a walk and a run while adding his team-leading 27th RBI of the season.
Junior center fielder Michael Gigliotti only finished 1-for-4, but found his way on base three times after drawing two walks. He also drove in a run, crossed the dish once and tied his career high with three stolen bases. He originally set his career high against Northern Kentucky on May 14, 2015.
Junior right fielder Lee Solomon went 1-for-5 with two RBI and his team-leading 11th double of the year.
Tevin Symonette and Blake Thomas each drove in a run, while Cade Sorrells drew two walks.
Jeffrey Passantino improved to 2-1 on the year after working six innings of five-hit ball. The righty surrendered two runs and one walk while striking out seven.
“Jeffrey gave us an awesome start like he always does,” Forehand said. “Going up so much early really took the pressure off and all he had to do was go out and throw strikes. It was good to see him get another win.”
NJIT’s Brian Sondergard took the loss, falling to 0-5. He only lasted one-third of an inning before being lifted. He surrendered six runs on four hits and two walks while facing seven batters.
AROUND THE HORN:
- The 7-run frame is the highest scoring inning of the season for the Purple and Gold.
- Lipscomb outhit NJIT 14 -7. It was the 15th time this season the Bisons recorded double-digit hits.
- Gigliotti and Hanks pushed their on-base streaks to 11 games.
- Dodson earned his team-leading 11th game this season with multiple hits.
- With two runs driven in, Solomon tied Perry and Hanks for the team high with six games with multiple RBI.
- The 11 runs mark the eighth time this year that Lipscomb reached the double-digit plateau. It was the first since plating 19 in the league opener at USC Upstate.
- The two runs allowed by the pitching staff was the ninth time this season the Bisons have given up two runs or fewer.
- Passantino pitched at least six innings for the eighth consecutive start.
- The 12 strikeouts by the Bisons arms are the second most this season. They rang up 15 against Missouri State on February 25.
- Lipscomb showed its speed on the base paths, swiping a season high seven bags in the win. Four of those came in the first frame. It was the most stolen bases in a game since taking eight against Mississippi Valley State on March 26, 2016.
Lipscomb and NJIT get back at it at noon on Saturday. Dayton Tripp (3-3, 6.31 ERA) will get the nod for the Bisons and will face off with Tyler Stafflinger (1-4, 3.77 ERA).