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Bisons defeat No. 14 Stetson 9-3 in series finale
Aaron Spragg
Aaron Spragg

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Lipscomb baseball team used a 14-hit balanced attack and got excellent performances from Chris Nunn and Chad Fromm to knock-off 14th-ranked Stetson, 9-3 in the series finale at Ken Dugan Field on Sunday.

With the game tied 1-1 after three innings, the Bisons scored two runs in the fourth before breaking the game open with a five-run fifth to post its first win over a top-15 team since defeating No. 8 Georgia, 10-7 in the NCAA Athens Regional on May 30, 2008.

The Bisons (19-32, 10-17 A-Sun) win over Stetson snapped the Hatters nine-game conference winning streak and was only the Hatters second loss in their last 13 conference games. Prior to Sunday, Stetson’s last setback in A-Sun play came on April 23 when they fell to Jacksonville 10-4.

Stetson (39-13, 22-5 A-Sun) clinched the series two games to one over the Bisons but Sunday was all purple and gold.

“I thought we played a pretty solid game all the way around today, head coach Jeff Forehand said.  “Chris Nunn pitched a solid game and then Chad finished it up with no runs.  I thought we played a pretty good series overall, except for the inning where we resumed the halted game. We were right there in all three games this weekend but unfortunately we were a little too late.”

The game remained scoreless through the first two innings before both teams traded a run in the third inning.

With the game knotted at one, the Bisons took a 3-1 lead with two runs on four hits in the bottom of the fourth. Josh Chism and Tennyson Dodd had RBI-singles in the inning to give the Bisons a two-run advantage.

With the Bisons leading 3-1, Lipscomb broke the game wide open with a five-run fifth inning while sending 10 batters to the plate. The Bisons tallied four hits in the inning and took advantage of a costly error by Stetson that led to three of the four runs being unearned.

Chism and Dodd once again recorded RBI-singles in the fifth to score Ricky Coleman and Richie Goodenow. Logan Hostettler recorded an RBI-ground out to put the Bisons up 6-1 before Aaron Spragg brought in two more runs with a two-out, two-run single through the left-side, giving the Bisons its largest lead of the weekend (8-1).

“The five-run fifth inning was a big inning and we haven’t had many big innings overall this year,” Forehand added. “We have had some innings where we have scored two or three, but today we executed well and I was excited about that.”  

With Lipscomb holding onto a seven-run lead after five innings, Stetson inched closer with two runs in the top of the sixth, courtesy of a Nick Rickles’ two-run home run to center off Lipscomb starter Chris Nunn.

The home run surrendered by Nunn in the sixth, was all Stetson could get off the tall southpaw as Nunn gave the Bisons five solid innings Sunday. The former Harding Academy ace, allowed three runs on eight hits with one walk and three strikeouts to earn his third win of the season.

After five complete innings, the Bisons turned to its bullpen as senior Chad Fromm handcuffed the Hatters lineup with four superb scoreless innings of relief. Fromm struck out seven and walked none to earn his second save of the season.

“I can’t say enough about Chad and Chris,” Forehand said. Chris gave us five solid innings and gave us a great chance to win.”

“Chad came in and pitched with the lead and did exactly what you want your bullpen to do by attacking hitters.  He filled the zone up and had a career high seven strikeouts.  That was a benefit of him attacking the zone.”

Offensively, five Bisons recorded multi-hit games Sunday, led by Aaron Spragg’s 3-for-4 and 3 RBI performance.

Lee Wilson, Kyle Henry, Dodd and Williams all had two hits in the win.

The Bisons will close out their home 2011 slate on Tuesday as they look to get revenge from a previous midweek slugfest as they host Austin Peay at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 17. The Govs outlasted the Bisons 16-15 on April 19 in a game that featured 39 hits, including 22 by the Bisons.

Tuesday’s game will be carried on the Lipscomb Sports Network as well as A-Sun TV.

Other Notables from this weekend

* Lipscomb hit .314 as team this weekend against the A-Sun’s No. 1 pitching staff. Coming into the weekend conference opponents were hitting just .269 off Stetson’s pitchers.
* Aaron Spragg went 5-for-9 (.556) with 3 RBI in the three-game series this weekend
* Kyle Henry went 5-for-10 with a home run, double and four runs scored this weekend
* Tennyson Dodd hit .333 with a team-high 4 runs batted in three games vs. Stetson
* The Bisons used only six pitchers this weekend while Stetson used five alone on Sunday.