NASHVILLE, Tenn. – When catcher Jeffrey Crisan drew a lead-off walk in the bottom of the ninth against SEMO on Friday, Lipscomb coach Jeff Forehand immediately signaled for freshman Chandler Chambers to pinch run.
The decision paid off, as Cade Sorrells sent a grounder to first and Chambers got under the tag at home to defeat SEMO by a score of 7-6 at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium.
"SEMO has such a great ball team," Lipscomb skipper Jeff Forehand said. "They jumped out on us quick, but I really like how we kept our poise. I thought we stayed calm and collected because we knew our offense was going to put some runs on the board and we were able to do that and get back in it. This was a solid comeback effort from our team."
However, it was SEMO that jumped out to a 4-0 lead after plating a pair of runs in both the first and second innings.
The Bisons countered with a pair of runs in the third, thanks to an RBI single from Maddux Houghton and a sacrifice fly from Crisan.
Jake Perry tacked on another run with a towering solo bomb over the right field fence in the fourth, before Lipscomb took a 6-5 lead with a three-run fifth inning.
Two of those runs came on an opposite-field single from Perry, and the third came on a successful suicide squeeze bunt from Cade Sorrells that allowed Zeke Dodson to score.
In the top of the seventh, SEMO’s Peyton Faulkner knotted the game at six with a home run that just cleared the wall in right field. All six of SEMO's run in the game game with two outs.
The game remained tied until the decisive ninth inning thanks to a strong showing from the Lipscomb bullpen. Junior Alex Dorso and senior Nicko Ortega combined to toss four innings and allowed just one run while striking out four Redhawks.
SOLOMON RECIEVES KEN DUGAN AWARD:
Prior to the game, senior infielder Lee Solomon was given the Ken Dugan Award, which is the highest honor bestowed on a Lipscomb baseball player each year.
"This is really just a blessing," Solomon said. "I have had a lot of great teammates over the years and the impact they had on me helped me get to where I am today. It's great to win the award, but it's really just a sum of all the great people I have been around."
The Columbus, Ohio native has served as a leader on the field and in the classroom during his four-year Lipscomb career. Solomon carries a career average of .303 (161-of-532) at the plate with 36 doubles, eight home runs and 93 RBI.
The honor is “awarded to the Lipscomb baseball player who most displays a love, passion and respect for the game of baseball, who demonstrates a burning desire and work ethic to continuously improve as a player and become a true champion, who displays good character in victory and defeat, and has a deep respect for God, his family and his teammates.”
Former award winners Jeremy George (2002), Tadd Brewer (2006), Adam Lee (2016) and Denton Norman (2017) were in attendance for Friday’s festivities, along with five members of the Dugan family.
AROUND THE HORN:
- Sorrells went 2-for-5 with a pair of RBI to break out of a recent batting slump.
- The Bisons have collected 16 of their 19 victories this season at home.
- Perry’s homer traveled over 400 feet and was his sixth big fly of the season. He finished 2-for-4 with 3 RBI.
- Perry has caught fire in recent weeks, as 12 of his 20 RBI have come in the last seven games. The senior DH is now hitting .281 after an early-season slump.
- Lipscomb starter Joshua Colon went five innings and allowed five runs, three of which were earned.
- On his award-winning night, Solomon went 1-for-2 with three walks and two runs scored.
- Dorso’s appearance was his 22nd of the season, while Ortega earned the win to improve to 3-1.
- Time of game was 3:15 with 287 fans in attendance.
The two teams will meet again on Saturday for Game 2 of the three-game set. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m. at Dugan Field, with Senior Day activities scheduled for around 5:30 p.m. Stay tuned to @BisonBaseball for updates if inclement weather disrupts Saturday’s schedule.