BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—The Birmingham-Southern baseball team suffered its first loss of the young season on Sunday in the final game of the BSC Invitational, falling 2-0 to Piedmont in the night game after defeating North Park University 4-2 in the first game of the day. The Panthers now stand at 5-1 on the season.
In the first game, North Park briefly held a 1-0 lead after the top of the first. It would be their only lead of the game. The Panthers used three doubles in the home half of the first to go up 3-1. Senior Evan Grovenstein got BSC started with his double and did not have to wait long to come home when the next batter, junior Jacob Mayfield, doubled to center to score Grovenstein. Two batters later junior Wes Kent doubled to left center to plate Mayfield. Senior Jeremy Hatley, who earlier reached on a throwing error, then scored after a ground-out to shortstop from sophomore Matt Brown. The Panthers tacked on an insurance run in the eighth with an RBI single from Hatley that scored Grovenstein.
BSC junior starter Blake Stevens (1-0) held the Vikings to only one more run in his seven innings of work. His work on the afternoon was complemented with seven strikeouts and one walk. Senior Ralls Pennington held the Vikings scoreless in his two innings of work.
The nightcap was a pitchers duel from the start, with Piedmont hurler Chris Goershel throwing a perfect game until the bottom of the fifth, when Brown singled through the left side for BSC's first hit of the game. The score would remain knotted at 0-0 until the top of the eighth, though, when Breck Davidson scored on a Panther error. BSC got a runner on third in the bottom of the eighth after Brown led off with a double and then to third on a Zach Wagner sacrifice bunt, but Piedmont turned a double play to end the inning. The Lions tacked on another run in the top of the ninth on an RBI single by Griffin Olson, and retired three straight Panther batters in the bottom of the ninth to clinch the 2-0 shutout win.
Senior Miles Nordgren started on the mound for BSC and went six innings with four strikeouts before he was relieved by senior Ralls Pennington (1-1).
The Panthers are at home again this Wednesday, Feb. 26, taking on in-state rival Huntingdon at 6 p.m. at Striplin Field.