NASHVILLE – The Lipscomb baseball team was able to come away with a 4-3 win over Kennesaw State on Saturday afternoon at Dugan Field securing its first ASUN series win of the season.
The Bisons (13-12, 2-3 ASUN) and Owls (15-13, 3-2 ASUN) were locked in a back and forth contest for most of the game as both starting pitchers had their stuff working.
Noah Thompson recorded his longest outing of the season for Lipscomb throwing six innings and 113 total pitches. The sophomore allowed seven hits and two earned runs, but struck out a season-high seven batters.
“You could see today that [Thompson] was getting back into it,” head coach Jeff Forehand said. “He was making big pitches when he had to make big pitches and that’s exciting for our team that he is coming back to form.”
Thompson’s counterpart, Brooks Buckler, was able to match him pitch-for-pitch keeping the game close. Brooks finished the day allowing five hits, two earned runs and struck out four over seven innings.
Kennesaw State was able to get on the board first with a RBI single in the second inning Jalyen Smith. Ty Jones almost threw out Tyler Simon on a close play at the plate, but Chris Bashlor couldn’t handle the throw allowing the Owls to go up 1-0.
Lipscomb was able to tie the game in the bottom of the third with a sacrifice fly from Maddux Houghton scoring Brian Moore. Moore was able to make it all the way to third by way of a throwing error on a bunt attempt to lead off the inning.
The Owls would take back the lead in the fifth with a solo homer over the left field wall by Justin Russell. Russell’s home run was his second of the series after he hit one in Friday’s game.
The Bisons came right back with one run of their own to tie the game at 2-2 in the bottom fifth. Haddon Adams hit a shot back up the middle for a RBI single scoring Houghton from second.
The Purple and Gold were able to take the lead a couple of innings later with Houghton recording his second RBI of the game on a groundout to short, allowing Jones to cross the plate.
Kennesaw State wouldn’t go do easy though. In the top of the eighth, Tyler Tolve came off the bench to pinch-hit and delivered a RBI single to right field tying the game at three runs a piece.
Lipscomb stayed tough and battled back once again in the bottom of the eighth. Tevin Symonette led off with a double into the left field corner putting him in scoring position. Chandler Chambers came on to run for Symonette and two batters later Bashlor would step into the box and deliever the go-ahead RBI base knock to make it 4-3 game.
After Tyler Guilfoil recorded one out but allowed two walks, senior Robbie Knox was called upon for the save. Knox only needed four pitches to do just that giving the Bisons the series win.
“Any conference win you can get is huge,” Forehand said. “To be able to get the series in the first two days is really difficult. Now, after you got two, you’ve got to focus in and try to get after it to get the third one.
“Nobody is going to come into tomorrow’s game with expectations of ‘Oh we’ve got two, that’s okay’,” Forehand continued. “All these games are so vital and so important, so we’ll be prepared tomorrow and I’m sure they will be too. They’ve got a good team over there, so we’ll need to be prepared for a big game tomorrow.”
AROUND THE HORN:
- The Owls out-hit the Bisons nine to seven despite coming up on the losing end.
- Thompson got out of two bases loaded jams in the second and third innings to keep it a one-run ballgame.
- Thompson’s 113 pitchers were the most thrown by a Lipscomb pitcher this year.
- Guilfoil moved to 2-0 on the year, while Knox picked up his fourth save.
- Houghton stole the only base for either team.
- Kennesaw State left 12 runners on base compared to five for Lipscomb.
Lipscomb will look to sweep the Owls in the series finale tomorrow. First pitch will be at 1 p.m. from Dugan Field.