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Baseball falls to No. 25 Millsaps in SAA Championship series, 5-4

JACKSON, Miss.–The Birmingham-Southern baseball team lost a 13-inning heartbreaker to No. 25 Millsaps, 5-4, Tuesday afternoon in the title series of the 2013 Southern Athletic Association Championship.

Game two of the best-of-three series will be played tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. at Twenty Field.

The Panthers fall to 29-14, while the Majors move to 33-11. This is the fifth meeting between the teams this season, and the fifth time Millsaps has bested BSC.

The Panthers got on the board in the top of the first on an RBI single by junior Jeremy Hatley, but Millsaps answered with four runs in the bottom of the first, courtesy of five straight hits with two outs on the board.

The score remained 4-1 until the top of the eighth when another Hatley RBI cut it to 4-2, an RBI single by sophomore Tanner McGill cut it to 4-3, and Hatley scored on a Millsaps error to tie it up.

The game went to extra innings after neither team was able to score in the ninth, and both teams had chances to get on the board, with the Majors leaving five runners stranded in the 10th, 11th and 12th innings combined, and the Panthers also leaving five on base in the 9th through the 13th.

In the bottom of the 13th, the Majors led off with a double to left field by Annon Etheridge, but he was thrown out on the next play on a fielder's choice by William Chenoweth. Chenoweth stole second and advanced to third on an error by the BSC catcher. Jerrod Myers came up to bat after that and, with a full count, put down a suicide squeeze bunt to score Chenoweth and end the game.

The Panthers recorded 11 hits, two less than Millsaps. Sophomore Jacob Mayfield was 4-6 at the plate, while Hatley led with two RBI.

Sophomore Blake Stevens started on the mound and went seven innings, giving up nine hits and four earned runs with five strikeouts. Sophomore David Bourbonnais came in for two innings after that, giving up one hit with two strikeouts, followed by senior Blake Yance for two innings with two strikeouts. Junior Miles Nordgren, the 2013 SAA Pitcher of the Year, threw the final 1.1 innings and took the loss, falling to 5-2 after giving up two hits.

Harper Grier got the win for the Majors, moving to 7-2 on the season. Will Edwards started and threw 7.2 innings, fanning seven Panther batters. Kevin Wall was 4-6 at the plate with two RBI.