NASHVILLE – The Lipscomb baseball game ended its four game losing streak with a 3-2 walk-off win over Memphis at Ken Dugan Field Wednesday afternoon.
The Bisons returned home for their second midweek matchup after a tough loss at Austin Peay on Tuesday and looked to bounce back with a win.
Freshman Matthew Maldonado made his first career start for the Purple and Gold and was locked in a pitchers duel with Memphis’ Alex Hicks through the first three innings. The Tigers were able to score a run in the top of the first with a RBI single by Payton Marshall, but Lipscomb came back the next inning and tied the game with a Von Watson sacrifice fly scoring Chris Bashlor.
Memphis would regain the lead in the third inning as Hunter Goodman scored on a fielding error making it 2-1 Tigers. The Memphis bats would be held in check for the rest of the game, however, due to a stellar performance from the Lipscomb bullpen.
Senior Erik Gutierrez made his first appearance of the season coming out of the pen in the fifth inning and shutdown the Tigers offense. Over four innings of work Gutierrez faced one batter over the minimum, gave up one hit and struck out three batters.
“I can’t say enough about the pitching,” head coach Jeff Forehand said. “Matthew gives us four good, solid innings and Erik’s first four innings of the year couldn’t have been any better than that.”
With Gutierrez taking care of business on the mound, the Bisons were able to tie the game in the fifth. Haddon Adams hit a shot back up the middle to score Watson from third after Watson walked, advanced on to second on a balk and moved up to third from a Maddux Houghton sacrifice bunt.
The game would head to the ninth inning with the score tied at two runs apiece and Caleb Brenczewski would be on the mound for the Bisons. After the first batter stuck out, Memphis was able to poke a single through the right side for its first base runner of the inning. Brenczewski would record another strike out for the second out, but then issue back-to-back walks to load the bases. The righty would get out of the jam, however, causing Ben Brooks to pop out to Cade Sorrells down the first base line with a difficult over the shoulder catch.
“Caleb really grew tonight as a guy that we are going to be able to use in a setup role out of the bullpen,” Forehand said. “He pitched great and made some big pitches along with Cade’s big catch down there at the end to solidify that inning.”
Now it was Lipscomb’s turn to win it or go on to extras. Sorrells, Watson and Houghton were due up for the Bisons. After a Sorrells pop out and a Watson strike out for the first two outs Houghton was able to leg out a single to third base just barley beating the throw to keep the inning alive. Brian Moore then stepped in and after going 0-3 with three strikeouts on the day, ripped a 1-0 fastball to the wall in left center for a walk-off triple as Houghton came all the way around from first to score.
“I was just looking for a fastball and was ready to swing,” Moore said. “When I saw Maddux get on I really got excited that I would have the opportunity to do something and at first I thought the guy was going to catch it, so when it fell it was one of the best feelings ever seeing my teammates run out for me.”
AROUND THE HORN:
- This was the first walk-off win of the season for Lipscomb and its first walk-off victory since May 4, 2018 when the Bisons came from behind to beat SEMO 7-6.
- Moore’s triple was his first of the season and one of two extra base hits in the entire game.
- Maldonado ended the day with 4.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB and 4 K’s.
- Adams and Zeke Dodson each went 2-for-4 at the plate.
- Brenczewski record his first win of the season.
- The duration of the game was 2:43.
The Bisons will play a three-game home series versus Hartford over the weekend. First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 4 p.m., Saturday will start at 2 p.m. and Sunday’s finale will take place at 1 p.m.
Weather is looking like it will play a factor this weekend so be sure to check Lipscombsports.com and @Bisonbaseball on Twitter for any game updates.