NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Behind Jeffrey Crisan’s career night, the Lipscomb baseball team got a big win Friday with a 6-5 decision over league-leading Kennesaw State in the opener of their ASUN Conference series at Stillwell Stadium.
The win improved Lipscomb to 16-20 overall and 4-6 in league play, while Kennesaw State falls to 21-17 and 7-3.
Crisan carried the Bisons offense with a 2-for-4 night that included a career-high tying four RBI. The senior catcher put Lipscomb on top early with a single to left in the first that scored Lee Solomon, who doubled on the game’s first pitch.
Then in the top of the fifth with the Bisons and Owls tied at 1-1, Crisan came through in the clutch, this time with the bases loaded.
Senior Blake Thomas laid down a 1-out bunt single before Solomon followed with a single of his own to put runners at the corners. After a Zeke Dodson walk juiced the bases, Crisan ripped a ball over the head of KSU’s third baseman allowing two runs to cross. The speedy backstop then got himself in a pickle between the bags at first and second, and while the Owls were concentrating on him, Dodson never stopped running and crossed the dish as well to give the Bisons a 4-1 advantage.
Lipscomb hurler Josh Colon kept the ASUN-leading Owls at bay. He pitched 6.0 innings while scattering five hits and allowing two earned runs. He exited the game after KSU scored a pair in the bottom of the sixth following a fielding error that kept the frame alive.
The Purple and Gold once again took the lead in the seventh, 5-4, on a groundout from Thomas. The shortstop drove in Maddux Houghton after the freshman reached on a leadoff single, stole second base and then moved to third on a throwing error while trying to get him out at second.
The lead was shortlived however as KSU doubled off Alex Dorso to start the inning and then knocked in the runner with a sacrifice fly.
In the ninth inning it was pinch-hitter Jackson Furstace who got the ball rolling for the go-ahead score when he worked a 9-pitch walk to lead things off. He then moved to second on a balk before Tevin Symonette moved him 90 feet from home with a sacrifice bunt. Houghton then delivered the eventual game-winning knock with a bunt single back to the pitcher.
Robbie Knox got the victory for the Bisons and improved to 2-2 on the season, but it did not come without any drama. After issuing a leadoff free pass, KSU’s Grant Williams lifted a deep fly ball to right and began trotting out of the box as if he had just hit a walk-off two-run shot, however the ball was caught at the wall by Houghton.
Knox tossed a scoreless pair of frames and allowed just one base runner via a walk. He also struck out a batter.
AROUND THE HORN
- The win halts a four-game losing skid for the Bisons.
- Both teams managed to record seven base hits, while Lipscomb stranded four runners and KSU left eight.
- The Bisons hit .429 (3-for-7) with runners in scoring position. The Owls his just .125 (2-for-17).
- Crisan first drove in a career high four RBI at NJIT on April 23, 2017 after launching a pair of home runs.
- Crisan is now tied with Dodson for the team high with seven games of multiple RBI.
- Joining Crisan with two hits were Solomon and Houghton.
- Solomon finished 2-for-4 with two runs, a walk and his team-leading seventh double of the season.
- Houghton went 2-for-4 with a run and a RBI. He also stole his sixth base of the year - the second most on the team.
- Symonette stayed perfect on the year in thefts with his fourth.
- Dodson improved his team-leading on-base streak to 11 games after drawing a walk.
- The Bisons drew five walks and struck out eight times on offense. KSU walked four times and punched out twice.
With thunderstorms moving into the Kennesaw area later in the weekend, the Bisons and Owls have decided to play a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at Noon (CT).