BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Drew Leachman hit two decisive home runs today which accounted for five of the Panthers nine total runs and sealed the 9-5 victory over the Maryville College (1-1) Scots. The win improves ‘Southern to 1-1 on the season.
Maryville jumped out first in the third inning thanks to an Aaron Johnson single up the middle, plating the Scots first run of the day. Johnson got home with the next swing as Ben Peters launched a ball over the leftfield wall giving the Scots the early advantage.
The difference today was timing. Whereas yesterday’s runs came with just one half-inning to try and mount a response, the Panthers had time to climb out of the hole. The first Panther run came in the bottom of the third when Leachman got his first RBI off a single hit hard back up the middle. But he was only getting warmed up.
Leachman’s first home run came with the Panthers trailing 4-2 in the fifth. Josh Whittaker drove in a run on his trip to the plate, placing him at second for Leachman. Drew connected on a high fastball from Matt Johnson and sent it screaming over the leftfield wall, giving the Panthers the equalizing run, 4-4.
Two innings later Leachman put the Panthers up for good, this time off an offering from Grant Hillis with two Panthers on base. BSC would get two more insurance runs in the bottom half of the eighth, but they were just icing on the cake thanks to solid bullpen work from John Naramore. The junior pitched two innings allowing no hits and collecting six strikeouts to ice the game for BSC.
Today’s win went to sophomore Drew Crofton. Crofton went four innings allowing five hits, two runs, with two walks and two strikeouts. Grant Hillis, who surrendered the second Leachman homer, took the loss for the Scots with two innings pitched, two hits, three runs, and two strikeouts. The Panthers defense improved greatly over yesterday’s shaky performance, committing only one error on the day.
The Panthers will be on the road next weekend as they travel to take on the Emory Eagles in Atlanta for two single games on Saturday and Sunday. They play at noon central both days. The Panthers return to Striplin Field February 20th for a 4:00 p.m. matchup with Spalding University.