Lipscomb’s Caleb Joseph readies for fifth season with Orioles

Lipscomb’s Caleb Joseph readies for fifth season with Orioles

If you heard the crack of a wooden bat at Lipscomb this winter, there’s a good chance it came from former Bisons star Caleb Joseph. That’s because the current Baltimore Orioles catcher spent four days a week working out on campus this offseason. Joseph is set to report to the Orioles on Tuesday for the start of spring training in Sarasota, Florida. “I’m usually up in McQuiddy (Gym) because it’s too cold outside,” Joseph said. “Everything I need is here, so I’m usually the guy carrying a wood bat and a bag of balls around, trying to not create too much distraction.” 2017 served as a bounce-back year for Joseph, who did not register a single RBI in an injury-plagued 2016 campaign. Last season, the Franklin native hit .256 with eight home runs and 28 RBI in 89 games played. “When you have a historically bad season, there’s only way to go, and that’s up,” Joseph said. “I came back (to Lipscomb) and worked my tail off. I spent a lot of time in the McQuiddy cages trying to iron some things out. That work translated, and hopefully I can repeat that this season.” Now in his fifth year with the Orioles, the seasoned veteran is looking to lead his team back to the playoffs after winning the AL East title in 2014. “If the team does well, normally your personal stats turn out (okay),” Joseph said. “I’d love to help the team try to win another AL East title. That was an unbelievable feeling and hopefully (this) year is our year.” Joseph, who played for the Bisons from...
Led by familiar faces, Bison softball aims high

Led by familiar faces, Bison softball aims high

This could be the year for Bison softball. “We truly feel like we have the pieces in place to do it this year,” coach Kristin Ryman said. “I just think the work ethic about this group; there’s something different about it. They’re very, very driven, which I think could pay off big for us.” The ASUN coaches’ poll picked Lipscomb to finish fourth in the conference. Seniors Caitlyn Plocheck and Abby Fenichel topped the team last season in batting average and on-base percentage, respectively, and are stepping up to lead the team again this year. “The way Abby and Plocheck have gone about leading the team so far works because the girls respect them and they respect how hard they work,” Ryman said. “I think the girls are just following their lead.” Fenichel said the pressure to win isn’t getting to her this year. “This year, that talk isn’t really amongst us,” Fenichel said. “We’re just trying to play. We have things to work on, but I’m just excited to play without worry and expectations.” One Bison volleyball player traded in her knee pads for a bat and a glove. Chloe Rogers joined the team in January after her eligibility for the volleyball team ended. Ryman said Rogers is adapting quickly. “She’s already done the quick observe and ‘let me feel out my place,’ but she has a lot of good things to say and has good insight from being on a different team here.” Ryman said of Rogers. She’ll have one more year on the softball team after this one. They’re coming into the season a little banged...
Bisons shut down Jacksonville at home

Bisons shut down Jacksonville at home

If you like blowouts, tonight was your lucky night. The Lipscomb Bisons (16-9, 6-4 ASUN) were able to capitalize on a stellar defensive performance that enabled runs of 15 and 19 unanswered points against the Jacksonville Dolphins (12-15, 6-4 ASUN) on Thursday night. Junior guard Garrison Mathews’s team-high 23 points helped the Bisons in their quest to avoid going 0-2 against Jacksonville this year. The final score was 82-59 Lipscomb. It seemed like an anomalous outcome following the Bisons’ 18-point loss against Jacksonville on Jan. 13. “Well, they were missing their best player,” Lipscomb head coach Casey Alexander said. Redshirt senior guard Devin Harris, who originally was projected to start, was absent for unspecified reasons. Lipscomb put together an all-around shutdown of the Dolphins. “Obviously it was our defensive effort,” Mathews said, adding that they “played terrible defensively earlier in the season” against Jacksonville. But things didn’t start out as a blowout. The game was tied at 14 points with 13:59 to go in the first half, and it looked like fans would be witnessing a competitive game throughout the night. And then suddenly the Bisons forced Jacksonville into multiple fouls and mistakes, and the Dolphins were staring at a 29-14 deficit until the 6:30 mark. The Dolphins retaliated with a 6-0 run and finished out the half with a more competitive edge. Lipscomb matched their efforts and both teams went into halftime with a 42-32 Lipscomb lead. Lipscomb’s 19-point run in the second half made the score 63-34 with 13:21 to go. With approximately 7 minutes left to play, the Dolphins had only put up 8 second-half points....
NJIT snaps Bison basketball’s winning streak

NJIT snaps Bison basketball’s winning streak

NJIT finished with a 14-0 run to end the game 81-77 over the Lipscomb Bisons on Saturday night in Allen Arena. NJIT executed a comeback, and the Bisons and their head Coach Casey Alexander could not find an answer. “We got exposed, and now all we can do is learn from it,” Coach Alexander said. The Bisons came out firing on all cylinders in the first half with strong play from Eli Pepper. He led the team on the boards with eight rebounds and scored four points. He also tallied a block and a steal on the defensive end. Michael Buckland and Garrison Mathews led the team in scoring in a tight first half. Buckland hit back-to-back three-pointers followed by a Rob Marberry dunk to shift the momentum the Bisons’ way. Both Buckland and Matthews totaled eight points each in the half. The NJIT Highlanders were able to answer back with Abdul Lewis and Anthony Tarke carrying the team offensively. The two players led their team to an 81 – 77 victory over the Bisons. Lewis, the 6-foot-10 forward, was a formidable threat down low with 14 points and six rebounds, and Tarke scored eight. NJIT ended the first half on a 12 – 2 run. Two turnovers from Lipscomb led to four points for the Highlanders causing Lipscomb to call a timeout. The timeout was not a productive one as NJIT capitalized its run with a three-pointer by Tarke to tie the game in the final seconds of the half. Mathews came out of the half with eight straight points for Lipscomb. All of those eight points Matthews...
How Lipscomb’s Garrison Mathews went from untouted prospect to mid-major star

How Lipscomb’s Garrison Mathews went from untouted prospect to mid-major star

As Lipscomb guard Garrison Mathews goes, so do the Bisons. The junior currently ranks 12th in the NCAA in scoring with 22.1 points per game and is regarded as one of the best mid-major players in the nation. But Mathews wasn’t always a sure lock to be a star. He had limited college options coming out of Franklin High School in 2015, touting just four Division I offers from Lipscomb, USC Upstate, UMass Lowell and Austin Peay. “I took official (visits) to Upstate and Lowell,” Mathews said. “Ultimately, going to (Lipscomb) was the best decision for me. I felt like I fit in with the players here.” However, Mathews wasn’t initially Coach Casey Alexander’s top priority. “We had been recruiting somebody else longer, and we told that player we were going to wait for his decision,” Alexander said. “We put Garrison on hold, and it turned out the other guy picked a different school.” The Bisons then extended an offer to Mathews, who jumped at the chance to play close to home. But one has to wonder: did being the second choice put a chip on his shoulder? “I guess a little bit,” he said. “I was just excited to get here. It was a blessing to get a Division I offer, because that’s something I dreamed of as a little kid.” The 6-foot-3 guard has played in all 23 games this season and has already totaled 508 points as of Feb. 2. Last season, he became the fastest Lipscomb player to reach 1,000 career points, needing just 65 games to reach the feat. “We’re really lucky that things...
Lady Bisons score season-high 97 points in home victory over USC Upstate

Lady Bisons score season-high 97 points in home victory over USC Upstate

It was a tale of the Lipscomb bench in Nashville. Lexi Manos scored a career-high 20 points en route to a total of 57 points put up by the Lipscomb Lady Bisons’ bench. The Lady Bisons had control for most of the game as they won 97-78. The USC Upstate Spartans struggled to convert on shots, going 27-of-77 on field goals (35.1 percent). This led to 50 rebounds for the Lady Bisons as opposed to 40 for the Spartans. Upstate could not contain Lipscomb’s offense, which generated a season-high point total. After beginning with a promising 7-0 lead, including a 3-pointer to start things out, the Spartans allowed multiple scoring runs by Lipscomb to quickly erase that momentum. After the first half, Upstate had only converted 23.7 percent on field goals, including 2-of-15 from the 3-point line. The score at that point was 45-26 Lipscomb. The Spartans engendered a 5-point run to start the second half. But it wasn’t enough, as the Lady Bisons quickly slotted themselves back into the competition. Both teams each scored 52 points apiece in the second half. The main story for the Spartans was their consistently missed shots. They were off-target from the start and couldn’t really pick up in that category until the Lipscomb bench saw a lot more playing time towards the end of the game. The main story of the night for Lipscomb was Lexi Manos, who put up the most points of her career. Coming off the bench, Manos converted on her first five field goal attempts to result in 9-of-14 on the night for her team-high 20 points. “It...