MILLINGTON, Tenn.—Thanks to an impressive complete-game performance by senior right-hander Jesse Meier, the No. 7 Birmingham-Southern Panthers defeated Emory today, 6-1, to advance in the NCAA Central Regional.
Top-seeded BSC moves to 37-7, while fourth-seeded Emory ends its season at 26-14. It was BSC's first win against the Eagles this season, with two of the Panthers' losses coming at the hands of Emory.
The Panthers will face the winner of the game between Webster and No. 22 DePauw, the fifth and third seeds, respectively, tomorrow at noon CT. The game between Webster and DePauw will be played tonight at 7 p.m. CT.
Meier threw all nine innings for the Panthers, giving up only five hits and no earned runs with six strikeouts to move to 6-1 on the year. He retired 12 straight Emory batters between the first and fifth innings.
BSC scored its first two runs in the top of the third inning as junior Stephen Denton led off with a single up the middle followed by a line out and a ground-out to advance Denton to second. Senior Jon Walker singled to bring in Denton, and sophomore Austin Justice tripled to plate Walker and put BSC up 2-0.
The Panthers scored three more in the top of the fifth. Denton led off again with a single, followed by singles from sophomore Evan Grovenstein and junior Bruce Maxwell to load the bases. A two-RBI double down the left field line from Jon Walker plated Denton and Grovenstein, prompting a pitching change by Emory. Justice hit a sac-fly to center field, allowing Maxwell to score and put BSC up 5-0.
A run scored on an Emory error in the top of the eighth put the Panthers up 6-0, and Emory got on the board in the bottom of the ninth on a BSC error to wrap up the scoring.
BSC had 11 hits, led by Walker who was 3-5. Maxwell and Justice were both 2-4, and Denton was 2-5. Walker also led with three RBI.