KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Lipscomb baseball hits the road for the first time in 2018 on Tuesday with a 2:30 p.m. trip to Knoxville to take on the University of Tennessee at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. The in-state battle is set to be streamed live on SEC Network +.
The Bisons (2-1) are coming off a 6-3 loss on Sunday to UNC Asheville where the visitors never relinquished the lead after going up a run in the top of the first. The Bisons used strong pitching to take down the Bulldogs 3-2 in Friday’s opener and 4-2 on Saturday.
The midweek tilt will be the 11th meeting in the all-time series, with the Vols holding a 9-1 advantage. UT leads the series 6-0 in Knoxville.
It was in 2015 that Lipscomb and Tennessee (1-2) last squared off on the diamond. After a snow storm canceled the game in Knoxville that February, the teams agreed to travel to Emerson, Georgia and play at Perfect Game South.
After eight scoreless innings from both sides, it was the Vols who broke open the game with six runs in the ninth to win 6-0.
Lipscomb - RHP Dayton Tripp (Sr.): (3-5, 5.31 ERA in 2017)
Tennessee - RHP Sean Hunley (Fr.): (Making first career start)
- The Vols lost 2-of-3 at home against Maryland over the weekend. They lost the opener 4-0 and then the first game of Sunday’s DH 10-4, before salvaging the series in the finale with a 13-6 victory.
- UT’s projected starter (Sean Hunley) is a local kid out of Mt. Juliet High School that stands at 6-foot-5.
- Senior catcher Benito Santiago leads UT in batting with a .462 clip.
- Sophomore shortstop Andre Lipcius is the top RBI man with seven. In the finale on Sunday, he drove in a career high six runs on three hits – one of which was a grand slam – with two runs scored.
- Freshman third baseman Wyatt Stapp opened his Vols career with a 4-for-10 weekend with a RBI, three walks and a team-best .538 on-base percentage.
AROUND THE HORN:
- Blake Thomas leads the Bisons at the plate with a .400 batting average and three runs scored after going 2-for-5 in the opening series.
- Senior second baseman Lee Solomon is the only player to have multiple RBIs on the year. He hit a 2-run double in the finale on Sunday.
- Sophomore Josh Martinez and junior third baseman Zeke Dodson leads Lipscomb with three hits apiece. Dodson also hit the only home run of the series for the Bisons.
- Senior closer Kyle Kemp was lights out against the Bulldogs, picking up two saves in as many appearances. He pitched a perfect ninth inning on Friday and Saturday, while striking out two in each.
- Nicko Ortega and Robbie Knox were also sharp out of the bullpen. Knox tossed 3.2 innings with no runs and seven strikeouts, while Ortega pitched 3.0 frames and did not allow a base runner.
Lipscomb returns home this weekend for three games in the 1st Annual SAF Dirt Classic – formerly known as the Mule Mix Classic. The Bisons will host alongside Belmont and Middle Tennessee. They will welcome Indiana State, Kent State and Fairleigh Dickinson. Each team will play a game at the respective host sites.
The Bisons will face ISU at 4 p.m. Friday, Kent State at 2 p.m. Saturday and Fairleigh Dickinson at 1 p.m. on Sunday.