NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Down two in the eighth, Lipscomb’s Chris Bashlor cranked a go-ahead 3-run bomb to left field, as the Bisons rallied to knock off the NJIT Highlanders, 10-6, on Friday evening at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium.
With the win, Lipscomb has evened the series with its first ASUN Conference victory of the season and improved their record to 12-14 overall and 1-1 in league play. NJIT drops to 11-9 and 1-1.
“Tonight we got some big performances at the plate and out pitching staff did exactly what they needed to do to give us a chance to win,” Lipscomb head coach Jeff Forehand said. “That is what a team effort is. This was a good ballgame that we were able to find a way to win.”
Trailing 6-4 in the eighth, senior catcher Jeffrey Crisan got beaned with the first pitch of the frame to open what would be a 6-run inning for the Purple and Gold. Left fielder Tevin Symonette doubled down the line in left and Crisan rumbled around the bases from first and finished off a head-first dive at the plate to spark the Bisons.
“Fortunately for us, we got to their (NJIT) guys in the pen,” Forehand said. “We put a big inning together in the eighth, where Jeffrey Crisan scored from first on that double down the line – which doesn’t happen too often. I’m sure that was a sight on ESPN3.
“We got the momentum going and that’s what you need to put together big innings. For us, we were able to do that twice tonight and it was enough to win the game.”
Lee Solomon, who had not seen an at-bat since March 4th against Northern Kentucky, was inserted as a pinch hitter and delivered a single through the left side to put runners at the corners and set the stage for Bashlor.
The redshirt-freshman faced a 1-0 count before hammering his first-career homer to give Lipscomb an 8-6 advantage.
“Bash really put in on ice for us with a great swing,” Forehand said. “We talk about that situation with runners at first and third where you just want to get the ball in the air, he sure got the ball in the air and it went out. Great at-bat for him.”
Blake Thomas had a hand in the final two tallies of the frame with a RBI single up the middle before stealing third and forcing an errant throw from the catcher to allow him to score and give Lipscomb a 10-6 lead.
Junior Robbie Knox came on in relief and pitched a perfect ninth inning for Lipscomb to secure the victory. Junior southpaw Alex Dorso earned his second victory of the week with a 3.0-inning appearance Friday where he allowed just one hit and one walk with two strikeouts in 42 pitches of work.
NJIT initially jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning with a 2-out, 2-RBI double to center from Jesse Uttendorfer. The Bisons responded with a four-run stanza in the second behind three base hits and one NJIT error.
Symonette led off with a single and then later scored on a wild pitch to get Lipscomb on the board. Freshman Maddux Houghton laced a 2-RBI single to right center on the eighth pitch of his at-bat before Zeke Dodson scored Houghton on a sacrifice fly to give the Bisons a 4-2 lead.
Senior Dayton Tripp pitched well in his first weekend start of the season. The right-hander worked a season high 5.0 inning and struck out a season high five batters. He allowed four earned run on eight hits and two walks.
AROUND THE HORN
- Lipscomb improves to 7-1 all-time against the Highlanders.
- Bashlor finished the afternoon 2-for-4 with a career high three RBI and two runs scored. It is his third multi-hit and fourth multi-RBI game of the campaign.
- Thomas stole his ASUN-leading 14th bag of the season. He finished 2-for-4 with a RBI and a run.
- Cade Sorrells finished hitless at the dish, but the junior drew two free bases. He now leads the league with 25 on the year.
- Symonette went 2-for-4 with one RBI and two runs, while extending his hit streak to four games. The junior notched his third double of the year and now has 10 RBI in his last eight games. He only had three RBI in his first 10 games of the season.
- Houghton was the fourth Bison to record multiple knocks in the win. He was 2-for-3 with two RBI and one run and his fourth two-bagger of the season. He has a five-game hitting streak with three multi-hit performances.
- Lipscomb and NJIT each stranded five men on base.
- The Bisons hit 6-for15 with runners on base, 4-for-8 with runners in scoring position and put their leadoff man on base three times in eight innings.
- The 10 runs are the most for Lipscomb since scoring 11 against Michigan on March 9 – a stretch of 12 games.
- With two stolen bases, Lipscomb has swiped 32 on the year and has nine games with two or more swipes.
Lipscomb and NJIT face off in the rubber match Saturday morning at 11 a.m. Junior Chris Kachmar (1-1, 4.19 ERA) will get the start for the Bisons.