HUTCHINSON, Kan. – Craig Lipp pitched a career game in the NAIA Opening Round tournament striking out a career-high 12 batters pushing Judson University (47-13) to a 9-4 win over Dakota State University (28-28). Lipp went the entire nine innings for the win as Judson stayed alive in the first elimination game of the tournament.
Judson jumped on Dakota State's errors early and scored four runs in the first inning. After Dakota State cut the lead to one, 4-3, after the third inning, Judson spotted themselves three runs in the fourth to make it 7-3. One run in the sixth from Dakota State brought them within three, 7-4, only to see Judson add two more runs in the seventh for a five-run lead, 9-4.
Nick Norris, Lipp, and Brian Brauer all had two hits as Norris provided two doubles and Brauer one. Billy Wright, Josh Raymond, Tony Rallo, Lipp, and Brauer all had one RBI in the win.
Raymond brought in the first run in the first inning with an error by the Dakota State third baseman scoring Wright. After Rallo grounded out with a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners, Lipp then grounded out to the first baseman as K.C. Wright became the second run of the inning. The second error of the inning at Matt McHenry's at-bat let Raymond come in and then Brauer doubled down to left field scoring McHenry for the 4-0 advantage.
Dakota State picked up their first run in the second and added two more in the third to crept back into the game, 4-3. Judson answered with three runs in the fourth inning. After back-to-back singles by Brauer and Elliot Badja, Norris put down a perfect bunt that the third baseman threw down the right field line. On the throwing error, both Brauer and Bedja scored putting Judson up, 6-3. After Norris stole third base, Billy Wright grounded out to second base but Norris came in for the seventh run of the game.
One run came in the sixth inning for Dakota State as they were within three runs, 7-4. Judson then answered back in the seventh with two runs for the big lead. After a walk and a double to start the seventh, Rallo reached base on an error by the second baseman as two runs came in, one for a RBI, in Raymond and K.C. Wright.
Judson finished the game with 10 hits and only one error while Dakota State also had 10 hits but provided four errors.
Judson will face Tabor College in the second elimination game at 6:30 p.m. tonight.