|Win: PRYOR (1-0)||1.0||0||0||0||1||0|
|Loss: Lindgren (0-2)||1.0||3||5||5||2||2|
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Behind a pair of big home runs from Jake Perry and Von Watson, the Lipscomb baseball team downed Illinois State 10-8 in the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium. The victory snapped a four-game losing streak for the Bisons.
Jeffrey Passantino was dominant in game two and picked up his first win of the season as the Bisons topped the Redbirds 3-1 for the doubleheader sweep.
“We played very well today,” head coach Jeff Forehand said. “I thought we sort of played two different games. We came out and swung the bat well in the first game and then we got a masterpiece from Jeffrey (Passantino) in the second. I told him I thought if we had played 25 innings and he was pitching, I didn’t think Illinois State was going to score, he was that good.
“It was just a lot of positive things today going in the right direction. I am looking forward to tomorrow.”
Lipscomb (10-8) and Illinois State (5-11) will complete the series with game three on Sunday at 1 p.m.
A five-run seventh inning lifted the Bisons over the Redbirds in the series opener Saturday. The stanza was highlighted Watson who smashed a 3-run bomb into the trees beyond the right field fence for his first long ball of the season.
That homer capped a career day for the sophomore outfielder out of Potts Camp, Mississippi. Watson finished the afternoon 3-for-4 with a double and a career-high tying four RBI.
“Von gave us some big hits in game one,” Forehand said. “It was so good to see him come out and swing the bat well. We really need him to use this game to get going at the plate. He plays a big part in what we are tiring to do.”
Junior right-hander Brady Puckett went 6.0 innings and gave up five runs on 11 hits. He also struck out four and issued one free pass. Illinois State jumped on the hurler from the first at-bat of the day and used the momentum to plate three runs in the opening frame.
“We normally don’t give up three runs in the first, but that is kind of atypical for Brady,” Forehand said. “But I really liked the way we responded in the bottom of the inning.”
Lipscomb came up with a big answer of its own in the home half of the second with four runs to take a 4-3 lead. Perry sent a 3-run blast over the left field fence to knot the game before Watson drove in Blake Thomas for his first RBI of the game.
Hunter Hanks led off the second inning with a triple to right field. He later scored on a wild pitch to extend the lead to 5-3.
The Redbirds knotted the game at five thanks to an RBI ground out and a wild pitch in the top of the sixth.
Before Watson went deep in the seventh, Thomas drove in two runs on a single up the middle to put the Bisons in front, 7-5.
Illinois State made things interesting in the ninth by tacking on three runs, but senior Denton Norman was able to shut the door and get the final two outs to seal the win.