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Saturday May 23rd, 2015 3:15AM

Lions knock off 12th-ranked Millsaps courtesy Lisk's complete game

By staff reports
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The Piedmont College baseball team got perhaps one of the best performances from a senior pitcher to win 8-3 over the nation's 12th ranked team, Millsaps College, on Friday night in Birmingham, Ala.

The Majors were a College World Series participant in 2013, but were no match for the veteran arm of Matt Lisk, who was dynamite on the hill for PC going the full nine with just three runs allowed as he struck out eight, his highest such total since a 4-1 win over Methodist on March 10, 2013.

The Lions gave up a pair of runs in the top of the first but got one back in the bottom of the inning as Will Skidmore crossed the plate after reaching on a throwing error by the Majors' shortstop. Piedmont wasted little time to take the lead though exploding for five runs on five hits the following inning as the Lions' bats forced a pitching change just one and two thirds in.

Designated hitter Zack Johnson sparked the 5-run second inning for PC with his RBI single to center scoring teammate Michael Barnes. The inning was wrapped up by a two-RBI single to the gap in right center by first baseman Breck Davidson who was two for five on the night with four RBIs for the Lions, a season high for Davidson in a single game.

It was Davidson's two-out single that sparked the Majors' pitching change as Millsaps' #1 Smokey Etheridge was roughed up by the Piedmont lineup as he gave up six runs on five hits. Etheridge came into the night having allowed only 10 runs in his previous four starts with an ERA this season of 2.57.

Meanwhile on the Piedmont pitching side, the senior Matt Lisk went the distance to get the win on the mound as he tossed nine innings giving up only three runs on five hits and issuing just a pair of walks. Lisk struck out eight to tie his career single-game high as the veteran settled in after loading the bases in the first to retire 11 of the next 12 batters he faced.

Piedmont added insurance runs in the third and sixth innings as Davidson singled to score the centerfielder Keith Grabowski in the 6th while Skidmore accounted for the run driven in during the third. PC finished the night with eight runs on eight hits as the Lions left runs out there as well with eight runners stranded on the night.

Breck Davidson led the Piedmont offense on the evening with his two for five, four RBI breakout as he set a new career single-game high with the four driven in. The sophomore first baseman accounted for multiple RBIs in a single game for the first time in his young Lion career as well with the quartet on Friday night.

The win went to Lisk on the mound while Etheridge took the loss for Millsaps, his second of the season while Lisk picked up his first win of the season after getting a no decision in his first appearance of the year in a 14-9 win over Emory, a day he struck out seven as Lisk has fanned 15 in 14 and two thirds pitched.

Also picking up RBIs was Will Skidmore and Zack Johnson while the runs were split up between Skidmore, Grabowski, Barnes, Johnson, Austin Brick, and Griffin Olson. Johnson and Grabowski scored twice while the other four scored one apiece.

The win moves the Lions to 4-2 on the season and is the second straight for PC overall. It's also the 16th time a Jim Peeples-led Lions squad has defeated a top 25 team as the Majors came in at #12 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) National Poll.

Piedmont will continue its time at the Birmingham Southern College Tournament when they face North Park University Saturday at noon at the University of Alabama-Birmingham.
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