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Bisons Complete First Series Sweep of the Season

Friday, March 21, 2008

March 21, 2008

Final Stats

The Bisons completed their first sweep of the season, defeating conference foe, Gardner-Webb on Friday by scores of 8-4 and 6-5.

In game one of the double-header, Gardner-Webb grabbed an early 1-0 lead with a run in the first off of Bisons' starter, Brandon McClurg.

However, it did not take the Bisons long to respond, plating seven runs in the bottom of the second against the Bulldogs' Webster Beal. Shane Simpkins got Lipscomb started with an RBI single to center. After Ben Williams drove in the Bisons second run with a sacrifice fly to center, Jorge Gutierrez increased the lead to 3-0 with an RBI single. Allen Bolden followed that up with a two-run double to right center, before scoring on a single by Caleb Joseph. Blake Bratcher completed the scoring for the Bisons, driving in Joseph on a double to left to give the Bisons a comfortable, 7-1 lead.

Gardner-Webb scored a run in both the fourth and fifth innings to pull within four, but Ryan Wilkins helped expand the Bisons lead back to five with a sacrifice fly in the sixth.

The Bulldogs attempted a rally, plating a run in the ninth and putting two more runners on base against Bisons' reliever, Paul Piennette, but Piennette managed to escape the jam, giving the Bisons an 8-4 victory.

"They are a team that everybody in the league struggles with," Bolden said. "They play up with everybody. It's always tough to come out with a win. That first win in the double-header was huge."

McClurg was credited with the win for the Bisons. In seven innings, he gave up three runs, two earned, on seven hits while striking out nine. With the win, McClurg improved his record to a perfect 3-0.

Piennette threw the final two innings for the Bisons, allowing one run on four hits.

Joseph led the Bisons on offense with three hits and an RBI. Bolden also had a good game on offense, contributing two hits and two RBIs.

In game two, the Bisons wasted no time getting on the board, using a single up the middle by Bratcher to take a 1-0 lead.

However, the Bulldogs got to game two starter, Mike Dunn, plating two runs in the second and another run in the third, to bring the score to 3-1.

The Bisons got one of the runs back in the fourth, when Justin Sanders scored on a bunt by Jay Moreland.

The Bulldogs plated another run against Dunn in the sixth, before right-hander Charles Williams came on in relief. In 5.2 innings, Dunn gave up four runs on seven hits while striking out two in the no-decision.

"I though Dunn pitched pretty well," Charles Williams said. "I came in with the bases loaded and I didn't want any of those runs to score. I just tried to keep us in the game and execute my pitches, and it worked out."

After the Bulldogs scored another run in the seventh to take a 5-2 lead, the Bisons got their bats going again in the bottom of the inning. Bolden got the scoring going with an RBI single to left field. Later in the inning, with two outs, Sanders walked with the bases loaded to bring home another run. The next batter, Simpkins brought home two more with a single to right, to give the Bisons their first lead since the first inning, and bring the score to 6-5, the final.

Charles Williams pitched the final 3.1 innings for the Bisons, giving up just one run, which was unearned, on two hits. He was credited with the victory to improve to 1-0 on the season.

Simpkins led the Bisons on offense with a perfect 4-4 game, while also contributing two RBIs. Gutierrez added three hits, while Bolden recorded two hits and an RBI. The Bisons, who have been offense-driven this season, had 12 total hits in the game.

"We are a veteran team and we have some guys who have been through some big situations," Bolden said. "They are seasoned guys. That's what comes with it. Big time hits from big time players."

The Bisons will be back in action when they welcome Murray State to Dugan Field on Tuesday, March 25 at 6 p.m. Right-hander Josh Smith is expected to take the mound for Lipscomb. On the season, he is 0-2 with a 5.94 ERA.