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Saturday, May 14, 2011Stetson scored two runs in the top of the ninth to break a 4-4 game as the Hatters edged Lipscomb 6-4 on Senior Day at Ken Dugan Field Saturday.
The Bisons had a chance in the bottom of the ninth to make things interesting but they stranded the bases loaded to end the game.
With the win, 14th-ranked Stetson clinched the Atlantic Sun Conference regular season title outright and will be the top-seed in the A-Sun Tournament in two weeks at Ken Dugan Field. The regular season title is the first for Stetson since 2007 when they also won the conference regular-season title.
Senior Day was a classic pitchers duel through the first five innings as Lipscomb starter Blake Fonfara and Stetson’s Will Dorsey threw five scoreless innings to start the game.
Fonfara carried a no-hitter into the top of the fifth inning before Stetson’s Trey Blackman recorded a one-out infield single to break it up. Fonfara was outstanding through five innings as only four Stetson batters reached base, two via hit and two via base on balls.
The Hatters (39-12, 22-4 A-Sun) broke up the scoreless game with two runs in the top of the sixth.
The Bisons (18-32, 9-17 A-Sun) countered Stetson’s two runs in the top of the sixth with two runs of their own in the bottom half to tie the game at two after six complete innings.
Tennyson Dodd roped a two-out double high off the wall in center-field to score Richie Goodenow and Josh Chism.
With the game tied at two, Stetson regained the lead with two runs on two hits in the top of the seventh. One of Stetson’s runs was unearned as the Bisons committed a fielding error with two outs in the inning.
Fonfara retired the first two batters in the top of the seventh before surrendering a single and a walk, causing the Bisons to go to the bullpen.
With Lipscomb trailing 4-2, the Bisons once again countered Stetson with two runs of their own in the bottom of the seventh, tying the game at four.
Kyle Henry led off the seventh with a single and then advanced to second on a perfectly executed drag bunt by Aaron Spragg. Following M.L. Williams sacrifice bunt that moved the runners to second and third, Ricky Coleman brought in Henry with an RBI ground-out to make it a 4-3 game. The Bisons eventually tied the game as Spragg scored on a balk.
With the game knotted up at four, Stetson manufactured two runs in the top of the ninth to take a 6-4 lead.
Fonfara allowed four runs, three earned on six hits with three walks and three strikeouts in six and two-thirds to earn the no-decision.
Before the game, the Bisons honored its six seniors, Alex Ross, Kyle Henry, Chad Fromm, Matt Brewer, Richie Goodenow and Mike Grace. The seniors were accompanied by family and friends as each of them received a framed Bison uniform with their individual number on it.
The Bisons and Hatters will close out the series tomorrow at Noon.
Sunday’s game marks the final conference home game of the 2011 season.
The Bisons will host the Governors of Austin Peay on Tuesday, May 17 at 6 p.m.