Nordgren, No. 15 Panthers grind out series-clinching win over Berry, 3-2

Miles Nordgren (photo by Cari Dean)
Miles Nordgren (photo by Cari Dean)

ROME, Ga.—Behind a stellar complete-game pitching performance from senior Miles Nordgren, the No. 15 Birmingham-Southern baseball team took a 3-2 decision from Berry at William R. Bowdoin Field in Rome, Ga., Sunday afternoon to win the deciding game of the Southern Athletic Association Series.

The Panthers improve to 20-4 on the season and 10-2 in conference action with three SAA series remaining. Berry is now 16-7 overall and 6-3 in the SAA.

Nordgren's complete-game gem, his third of the season, takes his record to 3-1 on the campaign. The senior struck out six Berry batters and issued no walks in his nine innings of work.

Sunday's contest featured strong pitching from both squads as both BSC and Berry were held scoreless through seven innings. The Panthers broke the stalemate in the eighth when sophomore Taylor McCracken started the inning with a double down the left field line. He was then brought home for the game's first run after a throwing error was committed by the Berry pitcher while fielding a sacrifice bunt from junior Brandon Marino.

BSC provided Nordgren with more run support in the top of the ninth. With one out, the Panthers loaded the bases after freshman Zach Wingate walked, senior Jeremy Hatley singled to left, and junior Jake Campbell earned the base on balls. McCracken then laced a single, the second of his team-high two hits, down the left field line to earn his game-high two RBI. Pinch runners junior Casey Lambert, running for Wingate, and senior Ethan Netherton, running for Hatley, proved to be the game's tying and go-ahead runs.

In the bottom of the ninth, a Berry comeback bid was cut short when Nordgren forced the final batter to ground out to third after the Vikings scored two runs to bring the score to the 3-2 final.

The Panthers return home from a 5-1 spring break road trip to host Emory at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 28.