His old college teammate had fooled him twice. Taylor Stewart wouldn’t allow a third time.
The Lipscomb catcher came through with a two-strike, two-out hit through the left side in the bottom of the eighth that lifted the Bisons to a 5-3 victory over rival Belmont on Tuesday night.
The two-run double came off right-hander Jessie Snodgrass, who played with Stewart at Volunteer State Community College.
“I’ve hit off him countless times,” Stewart said. “It was nice to just be able to get that hit. He had me in a hole 0-2. I wasn’t seeing the ball really well. He just missed his spot and I happened to get a piece of it.”
Stewart’s hit came after Snodgrass walked in a run that broke a 2-2 tie. Lipscomb (12-22) hung on in the ninth to snap a five-game losing streak to the Bruins (23-8).
After scoring a run on a walk, Belmont left the bases loaded when Tyson Ashcraft struck out Scott Moses. Leaving runners on the bases was a reoccurring theme for the Bruins, who stranded 13.
“Taylor had a big at-bat to push us out to give us some cushion,” Lipscomb coach Jeff Forehand said. “The last inning kind of blew up on us a little bit and it would have been a lot more difficult had it been a one-run game.”
The meeting marked the first between the rivals this season and the first since Belmont left the Atlantic Sun Conference last year for the Ohio Valley Conference.
The teams have gone in separate directions. The Bruins have received votes in the national baseball polls for the last three weeks and sit atop the OVC standings with a 10-2 mark in league play. Lipscomb suffered two six-game losing streaks in February and March and sits in ninth place in the A-Sun with a 3-6 mark.
“It was like we played with a little bit of a different momentum [Tuesday], a little bit of a chip on our shoulder,” Stewart said. “It kind of [stinks] we are starting to play this way 30 games in but, hey, better late than never.”