Atlantic Sun Baseball Season Preview: Lipscomb Bisons

Atlantic Sun Baseball Season Preview: Lipscomb Bisons

MACON, Ga. - With the 2015 Atlantic Sun Baseball season beginning on Feb. 13th, the conference office is previewing each of the eight league teams continuing with Lipscomb, who finished as the 2014 A-Sun Championship Runner-up.

Despite opening the season with a 0-5 mark, Lipscomb strung together one of its most successful seasons in its NCAA era as the Bisons tied its mark for wins in a season at 33, while posting its best winning percentage. The Bisons reached the A-Sun Championship Final with wins vs. FGCU and Jacksonville before falling to Kennesaw State. During the season, Lipscomb posted win streaks of four, six & 10.

Coming into this season, Lipscomb returns several key pieces from its A-Sun Championship Runner-up squad as seven hitters who batted .250 or higher return for the 2015 campaign. Led by Grant Massey (.322), Griffin Moore (.299), Tyler Bethune (.292) and Josh Lee (.288), the Bisons offense looks to improve on last season's team average of .273 which ranked eighth in the A-Sun.

The Bisons pitching staff looks to be one of its strong suits in 2015 with its top-four pitchers in regards to ERA returning this season; Jason Ziegler (3.10), Nick Andros (3.28), Denton Norman (3.43) & Ian Martinez-McGraw (3.77). Martinez-McGraw led the way with nine wins last season ahead of Norman with seven, while Ziegler worked out of the bullpen with five saves in 27 appearances.

Lipscomb Team Quick Facts
2014 Record:
 33-28 (Overall); 17-10 (A-Sun)
Best Record All-Time in A-Sun: 33-28 (Overall); 17-10 (A-Sun) in 2014
Atlantic Sun Championships: 2008
Atlantic Sun Regular Season Titles: None
NCAA Appearances: 2008
2014 Season Notes: Bisons reached A-Sun Championship Final for the third-time in program history and first time since 2009 by defeating host FGCU twice and Jacksonville once. Posted a 10-game winning streak from Feb. 27th to Mar. 15th with wins vs. UConn, Western Kentucky, Oakland, Austin Peay and Jacksonville.
2014 All-Conference Selections: Ian Martinez-McGraw (2nd Team); Grant Massey (2nd Team); Tyler Bethune (All-Freshmen Team).
2015 Season Opener: Feb. 13th vs. Butler - 4 p.m. CT

Coaching Staff
Head Coach:
 Jeff Forehand
Career Record (Years): 425-398-1 (15th Year)
Lipscomb Record (Years): 206-252 (9th Year)
Assistants: Paul Phillips, James Ogden, Brian Ryman, Brad Coon, Logan Hostettler

Key Returners
- Grant Massey: Second Team All-Conference in 2014. Tabbed Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. Led team with a .322 average with 19 doubles, 78 total hits & 47 runs scored. Posted a .957 fielding percentage. Added 14 stolen bases.
- Josh Lee: Sat second on team in batting average at .288 as he totaled 53 hits, 14 doubles, 22 RBI and 32 runs. His .397 slugging percentage sat fifth on the squad, while his .373 on-base percentage ranked fourth for the Bisons.
- Ian Martinez-McGraw: Second Team All-Conference nod in 2014 & Preseason All-Conference starting pitcher. Martinez-McGraw set the NCAA school record with nine wins last season as he totaled a league-most 112.1 innings pitched; also a NCAA program record. Finished season with a 9-3 mark, 3.77 ERA and 64 strikeouts.
- Denton Norman: Norman's seven wins last season ranked second on the team to Martinez-McGraw, while his 3.43 ERA sat third. Norman fanned 57 batters in 2014 in 86.2 innings and 15 starts. He added wins vs. UConn, Kennesaw State, FGCU, North Florida, USC Upstate, Oakland & ETSU.