NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After falling on the wrong side of the side of the scoreboard the previous two days, the Lipscomb baseball team was able to salvage the weekend with a 3-1 victory over Fairleigh Dickinson in the SAF Dirt Classic Sunday afternoon at Ken Dugan Field.
The Bisons improve to 3-4 with the win while the Knights fall to 0-3.
Brandon Seltzer nearly put FDU on the board with one swing in the top of the first, but the ball bounced back in play off the top of the wall to secure a double. Seltzer would end up scoring two batters later on a RBI single to put the Knights on top 1-0.
From there it was all Bisons.
Sophomore Josh Martinez led off the bottom of the second with a home run to right field on a 1-1 count to bring the score level. The very next inning, Zeke Dodson roped a 1-out triple down the line in right before Jake Perry brought him around to score in the next at-bat on a sacrifice fly to center field.
"I know our offense is going to come along," Lipscomb skipper Jeff Forehand said. "We haven't really hit well yet, but Jake picked us up on that sacrifice fly when runs were becoming hard to come by. He got us over that hump with a good at-bat."
The Bisons would strike for their final run of the finale in the fifth, once again by the bat of Perry. The senior backstop ripped a single to left field that allowed Lee Solomon to score from third after reaching on a walk.
Pitching was once again solid for Lipscomb. Freshman southpaw Noah Thompson earned his first career victory on 5-inning, 5-strikeout performance. He allowed just the single tally on four hits.
"It feels good to get my first win," Thompson said. "After a rough start last weekend, I knew I just had to get back to doing my job. I usually get better as I go along, so to settle in after that first inning felt pretty good."
The bullpen of Adam Stewart, Max Habagger, Nicko Ortega and Kyle Kemp combined to shutout the Knights over the final four innings of play. Kemp earned his third save of the season with three strikeouts.
"Any win is a good win, especially since we were coming off four straight losses," Forehand said. "We came out today and with one run in the first, we thought it might be an offensive game, but it really turned into a pitcher's game.
"Noah got his first win and that was pretty cool. He is a guy we are going to count on every weekend, so that will help build his confidence. After five innings our bullpen took over and was fantastic."
AROUND THE HORN:
- Dodson continued his hot start with a 3-for-4 day at the dish with a triple and a run scored.
- Martinez and Dodson now lead the Bisons with two long balls this season.
- FDU stranded 14 runners on base, while Lipscomb left nine.
- The Bisons were just 1-of-11 with runners in scoring position.
- Solomon, Perry and Maddux Houghton all stole a base in the win. Blake Thomas swiped two.
- The pitching staff struck out 10 batters.
The Bisons begin a run of six straight days with a game on Tuesday when they visit Tennessee Tech in Cookeville at 3 p.m.
"I think its' going to be great to play that many games," Forehand said. "With some injuries, I feel like all of our players will get plenty of time on the field. It will be a great test to our team at an early point in the season."