Lipscomb stuns No. 8 Georgia
By Phil Stanton
ATHENS, Ga. – No. 4 seeds aren’t supposed to
beat No. 1 seeds, especially first-time participants against
national seeds. But don’t tell that to Lipscomb.
The Bisons used 10 hits, including three home
runs, to outscore Georgia 10-7 Friday in front of 2,225 fans in
the first game of the Athens Regional at Foley Field.
Lipscomb will face the winner of the Georgia
Tech-Louisville on Saturday at 7 p.m. The loser meets Georgia at
The Bisons (33-28) got on the board in the top of
the first as Caleb Joseph launched his team-leading 17th
The Bulldogs (35-22-1) put four unearned runs on
the board in the bottom of the frame. Ryan Peisel had a leadoff
single, but didn’t advance after a lineout and a strikeout. He
stole second and scored when the third baseman couldn’t handle a
hard grounder. RBI doubles by Bryce Massanari and Joey Lewis
were sandwiched around a run-scoring single by Matt Cerione to
give Georgia a 4-1 advantage.
LU answered with an RBI double by Ben Williams in
the second and a two-run homer by Blake Bratcher in the third to
knot the score at 4-4.
"Wow! I don’t know where to start," said Lipscomb
head coach Jeff Forehand. "When you come in and play a team as
good as Georgia you hope you can be in the game at the end. We
have the utmost respect for them and we know they’re a good team
and they can erupt for five or six runs at any time. Fortunately
for us, after that first inning, after Rex settled down, it
could have been worse. I’m proud of our guys keeping their
composure and being able to bounce back after that inning. When
you’re playing a team of that caliber you know that something
can happen at any inning."
Ryan Wilkins’ two-run homer capped a four-run
fifth as Lipscomb claimed an 8-4 lead. Ben Williams walked and
scored on a passed ball in the sixth to make it a 9-4 contest.
Georgia cut into the lead in the sixth on Miles
Starr’s two-run homer, his eighth, to narrow the margin to 9-6.
The Bulldogs threatened in the eighth as David
Thoms had a leadoff pinch-hit single and Matt Olson added a
one-out base hit. Lipscomb brought in closer Kyle Tognazzini,
who gave up an RBI single to All-American Gordon Beckham, his
first hit of the game, to make it 9-7. But Tognazzini got Rich
Poythress to hit a come-backer that he turned into a 1-4-3
double play to end the threat.
Wilkins added a sacrifice fly in the top of the
ninth to give the visitors a 10-7 advantage.
Georgia tried to rally in the ninth. Massanari
hit a grounder in the hole at short to start the inning, but
Jorge Gutierrez threw a one-hopper across the field to record
the first out. A groundout and a flyout ended the contest.
Lipscomb. the champion of the Atlantic Sun
Conference, has won six of its past seven contests and is
averaging nearly 10 runs per game over that stretch.
Georgia, the SEC regular-season champion, has
lost four straight and 10 of its past 16.