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3/8/2014 | Nashville, Tenn. | Attendance: 0
3/8/2014 | Nashville, Tenn. | Attendance: 436
Saturday, March 08, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – With a 8-7, 7-2 twinbill sweep of Oakland on Saturday afternoon, Lipscomb baseball head coach Jeff Forehand collected his 400th career victory.
Game one on Saturday saw the Bisons (8-8) battle from behind to take the win before jumping out in front early in game two and riding solid pitching to take a 3-0 lead in the series against the Golden Grizzlies (4-7).
“Nick (Andros) gave us some great pitching in the second game but we had to grind through the first game,” said Forehand. “I think everyone in the dugout felt like in the first game that we were coming back. We got ourselves in a couple of jams but we were confident that we would come back.”
The nightcap saw Lipscomb take advantage of a trio of Oakland errors to push across three runs right out of the gate. Junior centerfielder led things off by safely reaching first when a throw from Oakland second baseman Tyler Janish pulled the first baseman off the bag.
Allison then scored one batter later when junior shortstop Grant Massey double to the left center gap for the early 1-0 advantage. Massey then came across the dish after swiping third and coming home on an RBI single by junior designated hitter Tyson Ashcraft. The Golden Grizzlies would then make two errors on one play later in the frame that allowed the third run of the inning to score putting Lipscomb ahead 3-0.
The Bisons would push across another unearned run in the third when Ashcraft would score on a single through the right side by sophomore third baseman Austin Sistrunk.
Senior right fielder Drew Adams got a rally going for the Purple and Gold in the fifth inning with a one-out triple to right center and would score two batters later on a wild pitch. Sistrunk would then drive in second and third runs of the game with his first home run of 2014 making it a 7-0 advantage for Lipscomb.
Junior southpaw Nick Andros was stellar on the mound for the Bisons in his first start. The lefty was perfect the first time through the lineup against Oakland. The lefty went six innings allowing three hits, one earned run and a walk while fanning seven.
Redshirt senior Jacob Knott then worked the final three innings for the save. Knott scattered four hits and allowed one earned run in relief.
Game one of the afternoon saw the Golden Grizzlies jump out to an early 4-0 lead after scoring three in the second and one in the third. The Bisons got on the scoreboard in the third after redshirt freshman catcher Tyler Bethune ripped a one-out double, advanced to third on a wild pitch and then scored on an errant throw by the Golden Grizzlies catcher.
Walks by juniors Griffin Moore and Mike Korte got things started in the fifth for the Bisons and Bethune delivered a double to the warning track in left field that scored Moore from second and moved Korte 90 feet from home. That would be important because one batter later Allison lofted a fly ball into right center that scored Korte easily from third and tied the game at three.
Oakland regained the lead in the eighth with a lone run but the Bisons erupted for a 5-run frame in the bottom of the stanza to clinch the win. Ashcraft got the inning started with a leadoff double before junior left fielder Josh Lee was beaned to put two aboard with no outs.
A perfect sacrifice bunt by Adam Lee moved both runners up into scoring position for freshman third baseman Hunter Hanks and the newcomer crushed a ball to center field for a standup triple that tied the game at five. Hanks would cross the dish one batter later when Korte reached on an error.
Bethune then became the second batter of the inning to get plunked before Massey loaded the bases with his Atlantic Sun Conference best 19th walk of the season. That set the table for Adams, who dropped a line drive in to left scoring Bethune and Korte and giving the Bisons an 8-5 lead.
That would be an important play as the Golden Grizzlies refused to back down pushing across two runs of their own in the top of the ninth thanks to miscommunication in the outfield by the Bisons.
The Bisons defense would be a big part of the win in game one turning three double plays.
“With our pitchers getting confidence in our defense, if they can execute and get the ball on the ground then we have a good chance to turn a double play,” said Forehand. “I think the confidence is building in the pitching staff to locate the ball more. I think the confidence in the defense as things have bounced our way a few times here recently and our ability to turn a double play put us in a good position to win the game.”
Ashcraft picked up the win on the hill tossing two innings in relief of redshirt junior Hunter Brothers, who got the start. Ashcraft allowed three hits a walk and one earned run. Brothers worked seven full innings allowing six hits, four earned runs and six walks.
The series between the two teams concludes on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Dugan Field.