Ben Fisher tied the program record for home runs in a season in Eastern Kentucky University’s 7-6 loss at home against the University of Tennessee on Wednesday.
Fisher, a first baseman from Richmond, hit his 21st of the season to tie the mark set last season by Kyle Nowlin.
With one out in the bottom of the seventh and EKU trailing 5-4, Shea Sulllivan doubled to left center to get the tying run in scoring position. Fisher then sent his record-tying home run over the wall in right center to put Eastern on top 6-5.
Tennessee (26-19) tied the game in the top of the eighth and then platted what proved to be the game-winning run in the ninth when Andre Lipcius hit a sacrifice fly. The Colonels got the tying run to second and the winning run to first with two outs in the bottom of the ninth but couldn’t bring either home.
Fisher finished 1-for-4 with a run and two RBIs. Sullivan had a 2-for-5 night, scored twice and drove in three.
UT grabbed the early lead with five runs in the first three innings. Luc Lipcius hit a two-run home run over the wall in right center in a 4-run third inning. Max Bartlett added a two-run double down the left field line to cap the big frame.
After three straight walks to load the bases in the bottom of the fifth, Sullivan got the Colonels back in the game with a 1-out, 3-run double to the gap in right center. Moments later, the senior scored on a UT error with two outs in the inning to make it a 1-run game, 5-4.
The Colonels (23-26) were able to get back in the game due in large part to the relief pitching of Jack Piekos and Aaron Ochsenbein through the middle of the game. After a lead-off hit in the top of the fourth inning, the duo combined to retire 12 straight Volunteers through the end of the seventh inning.
Andre Lipcius snapped the streak with a lead-off single in the top of the eighth inning. He then scored to tie the game, 6-6, on a single to center by Bartlett.
Bartlett finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs for the Volunteers. Lipcius went 2-for-3, scored the game-tying run and drove in the game-winning run.
“Great crowd again tonight, I’m thankful for our fans coming out and supporting ALS,” EKU Head Coach Edwin Thompson said. “It came down to free bases on the front end and the back end of the game. We battled back to take the lead, it was good to see Shea with a two-out hit and then Ben with a big home run to give us the lead.”
The Colonels conclude their 2017 home schedule with a three-game Ohio Valley Conference series against Tennessee Tech. Game one of the series is set for Friday at 7 p.m.
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