NASHVILLE- A good dose of spring cleaning in late April is never a bad idea and the Bisons had their brooms ready on Sunday afternoon. Lipscomb only had five base-runnersbut scored three and it was enough to sweep Stetson back to Florida with a 3-2 victory at Dugan Field. The team had a very specific memory from last year to drive them.
“They swept us last year so it was a little revenge for what happened last year”, said senior reliever Robbie Knox. “We wanted to do to them what they did to us. It’s a lot harder than it looks but, luckily, everyone showed up to play this weekend and it was a great team effort all around.”
“Last year, we went down there and we played three really good games”, said head coach Jeff Forehand. “It’s hard to sweep any division one baseball team and I’m proud of our guys for what we’ve been able to do. Stetson’s not a team that typically gets swept and they have a really good team. That attributes to playing good this weekend.”
After falling behind in the first two games of the series, Lipscomb (24-19, 8-7 ASUN) played small ball to jump out to a 2-0 lead on two sacrifice flies by the end of the third inning. Stetson got a run back on a home run by Eric Foggo, his fourth of the season, to trim the lead to 2-1 in the top of the fourth.
The Bisons then responded in familiar fashion with the hot bat of Tevin Symonette. The senior, who had already homered twice in the series, belted a 2-1 pitch from starter Robbie Peto (0-8) to left-center to give the home team their two run lead back and that proved to be the game winner.
Joshua Colon (4-3) only gave up two runs in six innings of work and handed it over to the Bisons bullpen. They came through again and the hero this time was Scott Elgin. With one out in the top of the eighth, Stetson got back-to-back singles from Foggo and Mark Townsend. Elgin stepped up and got the next two batters on a pop-up and fielders choice to get Lipscomb out of the jam.
“Scott was fresh and we have confidence in him but getting out of that situation was huge and it saved Robbie one inning and we were able to close it down in the ninth”, said Forehand. “Our original plan was to get Robbie in there a little bit sooner and not always save him for the ninth. We did that on Friday, we did that on Saturday so Coach (James) Ogden was thinking we need to get him one more inning. Five innings from the closer is a lot”
Robbie Knox came in for his fifth inning of work for the weekend and, despite hitting pinch hitter Aaron Steinhart, took care of business securing the sweep over the Hatters (18-25, 7-8 ASUN). He earned his eighth save of the season and third in as many games.
The Bisons stay home and will play Tuesday night as final examinations come to a close and the final leg of the regular season begins. “Having a game in the middle of a week at the end of the year with exams going on….it is a definite challenge and one that we’ll talk about more tomorrow. We just tried to set up what time we’re going to have practice tomorrow and someone has an exam all throughout the day so it may be a hit-or-miss workout situation.”
First pitch between Lipscomb and UT Martin is scheduled for 6 p.m.
-Robbie Knox’s eighth save leaves him tied for second in the league with FGCU’s Hunter McGarry. Liberty’s Evan Brabrand leads with nine.
-Brian Moore went 1 for 3 and was only one of two Bisonswith base hits on the day. Symonette had a base hit to go along with his home run.
-In five of Colon’s eight starts, Joshua has only given up two runs or less. In his last three starts, he has given up a total of four runs while dropping his earned run average from 4.18 to 3.13.