BIRMINGHAM, Ala.--Senior Blake Yance struck out all three Rhodes batters in the top of the ninth inning to help No. 20 Birmingham-Southern defeat the Lynx in game one of the Southern Athletic Association series, 4-2, Friday evening at Striplin Field.
The Panthers move to 22-8 overall and 12-1 in the SAA with their sixth-straight win, while the Lynx fall to 17-13 overall and 8-5 in the conference.
BSC got on the board first in the bottom of the second after sophomore David Bourbonnais led off with a double and senior Brandon Perry singled to bring him home. Rhodes tied it up in the top of the third on an RBI single from Lynden Pindling.
Something of a pitcher's dual developed after that, with BSC sophomore hurler Blake Stevens retiring nine straight Rhodes batters, and Lynx pitcher Jackson Blake retiring 10 straight Panthers.
BSC broke the tie in the bottom of the sixth on another RBI single from Perry, but Rhodes tied it up again in the top of the eighth, scoring on a BSC error. With one out and the go-ahead run on third, the Panthers ended the inning by turning a double play to preserve the 2-2 tie.
In the bottom of the eighth, a sacrifice bunt by Perry put runners on second and third, and senior Stephen Denton singled to third to score the go-ahead run for the Panthers. Freshman Taylor McCracken laid down a bunt to bring in another run and put BSC up 4-2 before the inning ended with two fly balls to the outfield.
Yance came to the mound for BSC in the top of the ninth, looking for his ninth save of the year. Rhodes led off with a walk and a single to put runners on first and second, but they would advance no further, as Yance struck out the next three batters to end the game.
BSC collected 12 total hits, led by McCracken who was 3-5. Perry and Bourbonnais had two RBIs each. Seven different Lynx batters recorded single hits in the game.
Junior Miles Nordgren got the win on the mound to move to 4-0 on the year after throwing two innings and giving up one hit with one strikeout. Stevens started and pitched six innings, allowing five hits and one earned run with four strikeouts. Yance gave up a hit and a walk with three strikeouts in his one inning, picking up the save.
Baker started for Rhodes and gave up nine hits and two earned runs with three strikeouts in seven innings of work. Stuart Voges came in for the final inning and took the loss, falling to 2-2 on the year.
The three-game series continues tomorrow with game two at 1 p.m.