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Bisons find Fresno State a formidable foe
Justin Sanders
Justin Sanders

Sunday, March 29, 2009

After starting out the series with Fresno State on a strong note Friday, the Lipscomb Bisons ran into trouble in Saturday’s doubleheader with the defending College World Series Champions.

Fresno State used an 11-run fourth inning on the way to a 13-11 win in game one and then took the nightcap 10-0.

The Bisons close out the four-game series Sunday at 3:05 p.m. (CDT) when senior right-hander Charles Williams (1-4, 8.06 ERA) takes the mound.

In game one the Bisons responded with eight runs in an attempt to rally, but fell short.

After taking a 2-1 lead in the first inning and adding another run in the third for a 3-1 advantage, the fourth completely changed the direction of the game. In that critical fourth inning Fresno State capitalized on three Lipscomb errors, four hits, three hit batters and a three-run home run by designated hitter Jordan Ribera.

However, the Bisons quickly regained some momentum with four runs in the fifth, one in the sixth, one in the eighth and two more in the ninth. They out-hit Fresno State 17-8 falling one short of their season high for hits in a game set in Friday’s 10-6 win.

Justin Sanders led the Bisons with four hits, including a double. Tyler Wilson and Ryan Wilkins each had three hits. Antonio Butler hit a solo home run.

It was the second time this season that Sanders has collected four hits in a game. He leads the Bisons in multi-hit games with 11. He also had two runs batted in. He leads the team in multi-RBI games with seven.

Brandon McClurg started for the Bisons and pitched 3.1 innings. He gave up four hits and nine runs, seven earned. He walked four and struck out three.

Matt Bowling relieved and pitched 1.2 innings. He allowed two hits and three runs, two earned. He struck out one batter. Martin Grude pitched the final three innings. He gave up two hits and one earned run and walked one batter.

In game two the Bisons managed only two hits as Derek Benny pitched a complete game shutout. He struck out eight and did not walk a batter. M.L. Williams and Branden Cadavid were the only Bisons to get hits in game two. Williams has a four-game hitting streak, the longest active streak on the team.

Sanders was hitless in game two, ending his team-high hitting streak at 13 games.

The Bisons used three pitchers. Josh Smith started and lost for the first time in four decisions. He pitched six innings and gave up three hits and three runs, all earned. He walked four and struck out five.

Jerry Young pitched two-thirds of an inning in relief and gave up one hit and three runs, all earned. He also walked three batters. Jordan Baron followed Young and also pitched two-thirds of an inning. He gave up one hit and two earned runs while walking two and striking out one.

Infielder Clay Lehning shifted to the mound to close out the game. He also lasted two-thirds on an inning. He gave up two hits and two earned runs and walked two and struck out one.

Tom Mendonca was the big hitter for Fresno State with a two-run homer in the first inning and an RBI- double in the seventh.

The Bisons are 13-12 overall. Fresno State is 12-10.

Sunday’s game can be heard on-line by going to http://www.kmj580.com/pages/main.