NASHVILLE, Tenn. – When Lipscomb and Vanderbilt met on the diamond in 2017, Commodore hurler Chandler Day tossed a complete-game, one-hit shutout in a 10-0 victory over the Bisons.
This time around, Lipscomb returned the favor. The Bisons used stellar pitching and timely hitting to down No. 8 Vanderbilt, 5-1, on Tuesday evening at First Tennessee Park.
"What an awesome game from our bunch," Lipscomb skipper Jeff Forehand said. "This was a big win for us and for our confidence. Everyone knows the caliber of team we are playing, they are one of the best teams in the country, so when you do come out on top it gives your team a boost."
Four Bison pitchers combined to toss nine innings of one-hit baseball while striking out 10 Commodore batters. A homer from Zeke Dodson and a 3-RBI triple from Cade Sorrells would be all the offense the Bisons would need.
Things started to go Lipscomb's way when Tevin Symonette flashed the leather for a web gem against the left field wall, robbing Vanderbilt’s Julian Infante of an extra-base hit in the third.
"I think that was a big play and it and the really set the tempo for us," Forehand said. "Tev has made some great plays all year long with his glove."
After the first three innings went scoreless, Vanderbilt broke the tie when Infante brought home Walker Grisanti with a sacrifice fly in the top of the fourth. However, Lipscomb answered with Dodson’s bomb to left in the bottom of the frame.
"That was a big swing from Zeke," Forehand said. "After they (Vandy) took the lead on us, he delivered a big blow that got the game back to even as fast as it could have."
In the fifth, the Bisons blew the game open on Sorrells’ triple to the gap in right-center, allowing Blake Thomas, Jackson Furstace and Maddux Houghton to score. Dodson then drove in Sorrells with a sacrifice fly to extend Lipscomb’s lead to 5-1.
Lipscomb hurler Kyle Kemp made his first start of the season with mixed results. While the junior did not allow a hit, he issued seven free passes in four innings of work while allowing just one run.
From there, the Bison bullpen took over. Junior Alex Dorso tossed a pair of scoreless frames, before giving way to Nicko Ortega, who struck out four hitters in two more scoreless frames. JUCO transfer Robbie Knox slammed the door with a spotless ninth inning, giving the Bisons a 5-1 victory.
"We only gave up one hit, but we walked nine," Forehand said. "Thankfully our pitchers were able to work around that.
It proves what they can do, what their bar is. If we can get to this level each and every time out, it'll be a huge lift for our team. That expectation was set tonight."
Around the Horn:
- Lipscomb's most recent victory over Vanderbilt came on April 7, 2015, when Josh Lee powered the Bisons with 3 RBI en route to a win over the then-defending national champions at Hawkins Field. It was also the last time Lipscomb defeated a ranked opponent.
- Dodson’s fourth-inning homer was his third, a team-high. He finished 2-for-2 to raise his season average to .379.
- With Tuesday’s result, Vanderbilt now holds a 20-4 lead against the Bisons in the NCAA era.
- The triple from Sorrells was the first of his career.
- The Bisons last one-hit an opponent when Brady Puckett shut down Bowling Green on February 24, 2017. The current Miami Marlins minor leaguer went nine scoreless frames with 7 K’s that day.
- Three Bisons - Dodson, Sorrells and Houghton - registered multi-hit performances with a pair of base knocks apiece.
- Lipscomb had a team no-hit bid going until the sixth, when Vanderbilt’s Stephen Scott singled to right field.
- Time of game was 3:17 with 1,495 fans in attendance at First Tennessee Park.
The Bisons open ASUN play as the NJIT Highlanders come to town this weekend. Game 1 is set for Thursday at 6 p.m. at Ken Dugan Field. Tickets for the series can be purchased by clicking HERE.
"Any Tuesday win before a conference series will give you momentum," Forehand said. "NJIT is much improved and they will be as solid of an opponent as we will play all year. We have to get back to practice tomorrow."