NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb baseball team found itself in a must-win situation on Thursday night.
NJIT swept a doubleheader over North Florida earlier in the day, leaving the Bisons and Florida Gulf Coast to play a three-game series to decide the sixth and final spot in next week’s ASUN tournament.
The Bisons answered the call with a resounding 14-2 victory over FGCU at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium.
Lipscomb pounded out 12 hits for its 14 runs, a new season high. Seniors Jeffrey Crisan, Lee Solomon and Blake Thomas each finished with three hits apiece to lead the Bisons on offense.
FGCU (31-20, 7-12 ASUN) plated the game’s first run when Marc Coffers scored on a double play in the top of the first.
But from there, it was all Bisons. Lipscomb junior Cade Sorrells knotted the score with a sac fly that plated Lee Solomon, and Zeke Dodson later scored on a throwing error to put the Bisons in front, 2-1.
Lipscomb (22-27, 8-11 ASUN) blew the game open with a pair of home runs in the second. Solomon got things started by crushing a two-run bomb over the left field fence. Two batters later, senior catcher Jeffrey Crisan followed with a solo shot of his own to nearly the same spot of the ballpark to give the Bisons a 5-1 lead.
FGCU tacked on a run in the fourth with a sac fly from Richie Garcia, but that would be all the Eagles would manage.
The Bisons' bats plated four runs in the fourth and three more in the fifth. Sorrells and Solomon both scored on a throwing error in the fourth, before Josh Martinez lined a two-RBI single to make it 9-2.
In the fifth, Solomon scored on a fielder’s choice from Crisan, and Sorrells later crossed the plate on a wild pitch. Dodson lined a single to left to plate Crisan and extend Lipscomb’s lead to 12-2.
Lipscomb tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the seventh when Crisan scored on a passed ball and Dodson crossed the plate on an RBI groundout from Tevin Symonette.
Starter Joshua Colon went five solid innings and allowed just two earned runs on six hits. The Bisons bullpen combined to toss the final four scoreless innings, including three from junior Alex Dorso. Adam Stewart pitched a scoreless ninth to seal the 14-2 win.
Around the Horn:
- Lipscomb has now collected 18 of its 22 wins at home.
- Lipscomb’s 14 runs set a new season high. The Bisons previously scored 12 runs on two occasions.
- Solomon’s homer was his sixth of the season, which leads the team. The senior infielder also leads the team in runs scored with 34.
- Colon evened his season record at 3-3. The junior now has a 2.86 ERA in 50.1 innings of work.
- Dorso’s three scoreless innings lowered his season ERA to 4.50.
- Stewart’s relief appearance was his 18th of the season, while Dorso’s was his 25th.
- FGCU has now lost its last eight contests in a row after going 31-13 in its first 44 games.
- The game started 40 minutes late due to afternoon rain showers in the Midstate.
- Time of game was 3:47 with 207 fans in attendance.
Lipscomb will play another important game against the Eagles on Friday. A victory would clinch a spot in the ASUN tournament, while a loss would set up a winner-take-all contest on Sunday. Kyle Kemp (1-2, 3.40 ERA) will toe the rubber for the Bisons. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. at Dugan Field.