In the seventh inning on Tuesday night, pinch hitter Billy Lipari walked to the plate for the University of Evansville baseball team looking for his first hit of the season.
He hit a grand slam.
It was that kind of night for the Purple Aces as the team tied a school record with a 29-9 rout of UT Martin at Skyhawk Field.
Lipari, who is the second Aces player in as many games to record a grand slam for his first hit of the season, also supplied the history-making hit in the ball game as the four-run bomb took UE’s run total up to 29 runs, tying the school record set on May 15, 1996 against Southern Illinois.
Nine different Aces recorded multiple hits in the contest as UE would score in each of the first seven innings of the game to race out to the big lead. Trey Hair led the way in the hit column, ending 4-for-8 with three scores and three runs batted in, and Korbin Williams actually reached base seven times, going 3-for-5 with three walks and two homers. Boomer Synek pushed across five runs with a 3-for-4 showing at the plate.
“The runs really came from all over the line-up today,” UE head coach Wes Carroll said. “It was great to have an offensive explosion like this after it took us a while to get going in the first few games of the season. I feel like the line-up is starting to hit its stride, and we just had quality at-bats from the top of the line-up all the way to the bottom. Now it’s just important to stay focused heading into four games in Virginia this weekend.”
Overall, the Aces registered 23 hits on the night with a school-record-tying 15 walks and a season-best four home runs.
It didn’t take long at all for the scoring to get started as Williams, the third batter of the game, sent a 1-0 pitch over the wall in left-center to draw first blood. The runs would keep coming in the first inning too as UT Martin starter Matt McKinstry wouldn’t make it out of the opening stanza, giving up seven runs on six hits before stepping off the mound with one out left in the bottom of the first.
It would only get worse from there for the hosts out of the Ohio Valley Conference as Williams led off the second inning with a solo shot to center, and Jonathan Ramon would single home another later in the frame to make it 9-0 after two.
Williams is the first player to leave the park twice in a game since former Ace Kevin Kaczmarski accomplished the feat on March 26, 2014.
Hair would make it three homers in three innings for the Aces with a two-run blast in the top of the third, to kick-start another seven- run frame, but a pair of errors and five hits in the bottom half canceled it out as the game moved into the fourth with the Aces leading 16-7.
A bases-loaded walk to Matt Jones and singles from Synek and Josh Jyawook brought home four more in the fourth as the Aces hit the 20-run mark for the first time since a 24-3 win at Austin Peay on April 5, 2011.
UE would go on to score one apiece in the fifth and sixth innings before Lipari’s grand slam put an exclamation point on yet another seven-run frame in the seventh.
Three Aces saw time on the mound in the contest, with Alex Weigand leading the way. The freshman lefty scattered nine hits over six innings, allowing nine runs (four earned) and striking out five. Blake Swanger and Alex Gould combined to pitch a perfect final three innings, helping UE secure a sixth consecutive win.
The Aces will return to action on Friday with a trip to Virginia to begin play at the Liberty Invitational.