Campbellsville, Ky. – An early 4-0 lead was not enough for the 17th ranked Bryan Lions as the Mid-South Conference home team, Campbellsville University Tigers, rallied for six runs in the middle innings before the Lions added one run in the top of the seventh in hopes to spark a comeback. Campbellsville managed to hold of Bryan for a 6-5 victory and improve to 26-11 overall this season. The Lions drop their overall record to 30-12 and keep a notable 12-6 record in Appalachian Athletic Conference play.
Five hits and a walk was all Bryan needed to establish an early lead in the second inning. Hudson Clare (JR/Jacksonville, Fla.) led the Lions off with a single, and then he advanced to second when Brookes Jones (JR/Franklin,Tenn.) followed with a single to center. Andrew Urbistondo (SR/Stockton, Calif.) loaded the bases with a well-executed bunt. Campbellsville's starter picked up a strikeout before walking a Lion to put Bryan on the scoreboard first. Evan Speicher (SR/Chattanooga, Tenn.) delivered a single to right, plating Jones and Urbistondo for a 3-0 lead. The Lion's last run, until the top of the seventh, was scored by Wallace off an RBI single from Preston King (SR/Kingston, Tenn.).
It wasn't until the bottom of the fourth frame that the Tiger's Cody Erickson capitalized on a pitch from Lion's starting pitcher, Brandon Marklund (SO/North Vancouver, Canada), for a two run homerun over the fence in right field, cutting Bryan's lead to 4-2.
Campbellsville continued to chip away at Bryan's lead in the bottom of the fifth with a two RBI double and an RBI single, gaining their first lead of the contest, 5-4.
After a quick at-bat in the top of the sixth for the Lions with nothing to show for it, Hunter Tipton (SR/Taylorsville, Ky.) entered as a reliever for Bryan. Unfortunately, the first batter he faced drove a triple down the right field line and advanced home for the score after a wild throw on the play, extending the Tiger's lead to 6-4.
Langston Calhoun (SR/Berkeley, Calif.) doubled to left-center and Morhardt reached on a walk to build momentum for Bryan in the top of the seventh. A sacrifice bunt from Clare put Calhoun in scoring position at third and advanced courtesy runner, Prentice Young (JR/Oak Ridge, Tenn.), to second. After a new pitcher took over on the mound for Campbellsville, Jones remained patient at the plate and earned a free trip to first, which loaded the bases for the Lions. Urbistondo launched a ball to center for the second out, but Calhoun's speed led to a Bryan run that cut the deficit to one, 6-5. The Lions were unable to tie the game as a groundout retired their turn.
Tipton shined in the bottom of the seventh as he struck out two Tigers in a quick three outs, but the only Lion to reach base for the duration of the game was King who singled to center in the eighth as Campbellsville cruised to a 6-5 win.
Speicher led the Lions finishing 3-for-5 with a double and a team-high two RBI. King was the only other Lion with a multi-hit performance, hitting 2-for-4 with one RBI. Urbistondo scored one run and collected one RBI after going 1-for-4. Marklund notched his first loss of the season after surrendering five hits and five earned runs through five innings of work. Tipton relieved for three innings and gave up four hits and one unearned run, while striking out two.
Bryan picks up AAC play as they travel to Barbourville, Ky. for a three-game series against the Union College Bulldogs on Friday and Saturday (Apr. 15-16) with the first pitch on Friday scheduled for 2pm and Saturday's at 1pm.
For the full Bryan Lions Baseball schedule, click here.