NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Behind a five-run opening inning, the Lipscomb baseball team downed Alabama A&M 9-4 on Tuesday night at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium.
“We were able to get some hits early to put runs on the board, we got solid pitching performances and we also made a couple big-time defensive plays,” Lipscomb skipper Jeff Forehand said. “This was a good win all the way around and I am proud of the way the guys played.”
Freshman first baseman Ryan McHale led the Bisons (26-19) at the plate with a 3-for-4 night, including two RBI, two runs scored and a pair of doubles. He also walked once. Lipscomb also got a big night from sophomore designated hitter Von Watson, who went 1-for-3 while driving in a team-high three runs. Watson’s biggest hit came in the opening frame with a 2-RBI single to center field.
“We have been getting some of these younger guys some playing time and they have really performed well the last couple games,” Forehand said. “Ryan McHale in particular really hit the ball tonight, that’s now two games in a row.
“I think we are going to have to try and continue to get him some more at-bats, unfortunately though, we have pretty good first baseman over there already in Cade Sorrells. Getting everybody in the game is good for the whole team and I think it will pay off down the stretch.”
Michael Gigliotti, Hunter Hanks and Josh Martinez also had multiple-hit games.
Gigliotti went 2-for-4 with a run and a walk. His highlight reel moment came in the bottom of the first when he turned on a pitch and sent it down the first base line for a leadoff triple. The base knock was his ninth career three-bagger, giving him the most triples in the program’s NCAA history with nine – passing M. L. Williams (2009-12) who had eight.
Hanks also finished 2-for-4 with a walk, but the senior second baseman came around to score a game high three times. Martinez was 2-for-4 with a RBI.
Sophomore right-hander Adam Stewart made his fifth start of the season and looked sharp out of the game, carrying a perfect game through four innings. However, in the fifth, he surrendered three base hits and his first run of the game.
The Homewood, Alabama native worked six complete stanzas, allowing two runs on five hits. He did strikeout six batters to just one walk in 67 pitches.
“Adam pitched really, really well tonight,” Forehand said. “He did what we needed him to do. Six strikeouts is pretty good, but we challenged the pitcher to attack the zone and that’s what he did. There’s going to be more to come and I can’t wait to see what else he is going to bring down the stretch.”
Stewart picked up the win and improved to 2-2 on the year.
AROUND THE HORN:
- Lipscomb leads the all-time series
- Gigliotti and Hanks extended their on-base streaks to 21.
- After going hitless in his first six career at-bats, McHale has caught fire. The Las Vegas, Nevada freshman is 7-for-8 over his last two games with four runs, three RBI, three doubles, a triple and a walk.
- Martinez, who did not have a base hit since getting three at Western Kentucky on February 28, has gone 5-for-9 with four RBI and three runs scored over his last two games.
- Solomon finished 1-for-2 with two runs, two walks and a stolen base. He now has 21 swipes this season.
- The Bisons stole two bases in the win, bringing the team total to 94 on the year. That is the second most all-time in a single season. The Bisons set the program standard last season with 98.
- Lipscomb’s offense has produced double digit hits in its last four games, and in nine of the last 12.
- The Bisons left 10 runners on base. The Bulldogs left six.
The Bisons trek to Clarksville on Wednesday to take on Austin Peay in a make-up game from April 18 that was postponed due to rain. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.