BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Birmingham-Southern baseball team defeated Berry College 13-11 to improve to 13-1 on the season.
The Vikings (9-6) jumped out first, and led for much of the game. Berry got two runs in the second to start off the scoring, tacked on another in the third and three more in the fourth to lead 7-3 going into the fifth.
The Panthers managed to take the lead for the first time thanks to a five-run fifth. Bruce Maxwell hit a double to left center driving in Brandon Ricco to pull BSC to 7-4. Jon Walker got his first homerun of the season over the left field wall to bring in two more, 7-6. J.D. Hulse tied the game with a single to right, plating John Lawroski. Drew Leachman gave the Panthers their fifth run of the inning with a double to left-center scoring Hulse.
Unfortunately for the ‘Southern faithful in attendance the 8-7 lead would not hold for long. After a scoreless sixth the Vikings posted a four-run seventh to take the 11-8 lead into the late innings. They held the Panthers scoreless in the bottom half, and many began to fear that the Panthers’ unblemished home record might come to an end.
The Panthers found their offensive stride once more in the home half of the eighth inning to put those fears at ease. Bruce Maxwell and Brian Higginbotham drove in the first three of the frame, tying the score at 11. The Vikings got two outs in quick succession to slow the Panthers’ momentum, but Drew Leachman came through in the clutch with a single in the left field gap that scored the Panthers final two runs, 13-11.
Leachman finished the night with thee RBIs, including the two winning runs in the eighth, to lead the Panthers. Clay Jones got his first win of the season in two innings of closing work, allowing two hits and two strikeouts in seven Vikings faced. Berry’s Matthew McCalley took the loss for the Vikings, giving up the five-run eighth.
The Panthers will take a few well-deserved days to rest and recuperate before returning to Striplin Field to host the Mid-Continent University Cougars on Wednesday, March 17 at 6:30 p.m. Come out and share your St. Patrick’s Day with the Panthers!