BASEBALL: Western dominates weekend 3-game series with Bisons

Amber North

The Hilltoppers quickly recuperated from the hectic weather conditions and beat Lipscomb 12-1 on Saturday at Denes Field.

Senior left fielder Matt Gunning’s RBI single gave Western its first of seven runs in the first inning. On top of that, the team had 12 batters show up at the plate before going into the top of the second inning.

In the third inning, sophomore third baseman Tim Grogan increased the lead to 10-0 with a two-run home run. Right after Grogan’s at-bat, Gunning wanted to match his fellow teammate by going yard.

And he did, his solo homer gave the Toppers an 11-run lead.

“It’s pretty cool because (back-to-back home runs) doesn’t happen often,” Grogan said. “Matt and I always talk about it and goof-off about it in practice, but it’s fun to finally do.”

Coach Joel Murrie said Grogan and Gunning’s hitting performance has been successful not only due to their skill, but players being able to reach base.

“The heart of the order has been a success,” Murrie said. “The on-base percentage has been the unheralded stat and those are the little things that set the table for Grogan and Gunning.”

Junior starter Grady Hinchman had a no-hitter until Bisons’ right fielder Nathan Sensing led off the fourth with a solo homer to make it 11-1.

Junior right fielder Antone Towns’s sacrifice fly drove in sophomore second baseman Dennis Winn that would eventually finalize the game.

Hinchman (3-4) allowed a run on two hits and struck out seven batters in five innings.

This was the first game of the week, because last Tuesday’s game against Murray State was canceled and Wednesday’s against Vanderbilt was rained-out.

But that didn’t bother the team.

“It’s obvious it has affected us in a positive way,” Murrie said. “You never know after several days off how a team reacts. We had some quality batting practice time indoors and we didn’t miss a lick.”

The Toppers (22-22) offensive juice carried over into last Sunday’s game when the team traveled to Nashville to play at Lipscomb’s (12-25) home field in the second game of the series.

Although the Toppers won easily in the first game, the team only managed to squeak out 6-5 score in game-two.

The game was tied 5-5 when Sensing, once again, led off with a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh.

But that only lasted until the top of the eighth.

Grogan scored the game-winning run due to a wild pitch by Bisons reliever Seth Kuwik.

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