NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After rain cancelled Saturday’s game against SEMO, the Lipscomb baseball team entered Sunday’s finale hoping to take the series from the Redhawks on Senior Day.
The Bisons did just that by holding on for a narrow, 8-7 victory over SEMO at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium.
“What a great game,” Lipscomb head coach Jeff Forehand said. “We kept battling and matching them (SEMO) when they would score. We finally were able to get ahead of them for good in the seventh. This was a great team win."
Lipscomb starter Kyle Kemp went five solid innings and allowed just one earned run while striking out three Redhawks. Closer Robbie Knox tossed scoreless frames in the eighth and ninth to seal the victory and pick up his fifth save of the season.
“Kyle gave five solid innings and that’s what we have to have each week down the stretch,” Forehand said. “He was good all game and I am proud of him for pitching well, especially on senior day.”
Lipscomb's bats scattered their eight runs over six different innings. Each team finished with seven hits apiece, but SEMO made four errors to provide plenty of extra opportunities for the Bisons.
Lipscomb (20-24, 6-9 ASUN) got things started in the second with RBI singles from Cade Sorrells and Allan Hooker.
Senior catcher Jeffrey Crisan crushed his third bomb of the season in the third, and Sorrells tacked on a sac fly in fourth to make it 4-2 Lipscomb.
In the fifth, Crisan added his second RBI of the day with a single down the right field line. Tevin Symonette and Jake Perry produced sac flies in the sixth and seventh, respectively, and Lee Solomon rounded out the scoring when he crossed the plate on a passed ball in the seventh.
“We took advantage of some mistakes that SEMO made with great situational hitting,” Forehand said. “That’s good baseball, it’s what we practice. There were some different situations all game that helped us get some runs here and there.”
SEMO’s offense was highlighted by a three-run homer from slugger Justin Dirden in the sixth. Chase Urhahn also had a pair of RBI for the Redhawks, while Danny Wright and Tristen Gagan each had run-scoring base knocks.
Lipscomb honored its nine senior players and two managers before the game including: Crisan, Hooker, Kemp, Perry, Solomon, Blake Thomas, Dayton Tripp, Ryan Stevens, Nicko Ortega, Nate Werkheiser and Greg VanMaaren.
VanMareen, a do-it-all student manager, received the “GVM Servant Leader Award,” a newly-minted honor that will go to the most valuable member of the Lipscomb baseball program in future years.
“Senior Day is emotional for the players and emotional for the coaches because it signifies the end of something,” Forehand said. “I tried to explain to them, this isn’t the end, it’s only the beginning. This is what they have been preparing for.”
AROUND THE HORN:
- The Bisons have now collected 17 of their 20 victories at home. Lipscomb is also 4-1 in its last five contests.
- Symonette set a new career high by swiping three bags. He’s a perfect 9-for-9 on steal attempts this season.
- Ortega picked up his second victory of the weekend to improve to 4-1 on the year.
- Stevens, Tripp and Adam Stewart each made relief appearances on Sunday, although each pitcher went less than one inning.
- Sorrells went 1-for-2 with 3 RBI to continue his breakout of a mid-season slump.
- Perry continued his hot streak and extended his hitting streak to 10 games. The senior went 2-for-2 with three runs scored and an RBI.
- SEMO fell to 21-26 with the loss.
- Time of game was 3 hours and 29 minutes with 307 fans in attendance.
Lipscomb will return to midweek action on Tuesday at Austin Peay. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. at Raymond C. Hand Park in Clarksville.