May 31, 2008


Lipscomb stuns No. 8 Georgia


By Phil Stanton Co-Founder


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 3 p.m.


The Bisons (33-28) got on the board in the top of the first as Caleb Joseph launched his team-leading 17th home run.


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.