MEMPHIS, Tenn.—After using a pair of victories to win the series and claim the regular season conference baseball title a day earlier, No. 15 Birmingham-Southern fell to host No. 27 Rhodes Saturday afternoon, 7-1 at Stauffer Field in Memphis, Tenn.
The Panthers move to 30-10 on the season and 17-4 in the Southern Athletic Association to wrap up regular season action. Rhodes now stands at 25-13 overall and 13-7 in conference play.
As the regular season conference champion, the Panthers earned the top seed in next weekend's opening round of the 2014 SAA Baseball Championship. The Panthers will host one of the two opening weekend series; the top two seeds each host a four-team double-elimination tournament, with the two winners advancing to the title series at the site of the higher seed. Games begin at 11 a.m. on Friday, April 25, and continue through Sunday at Striplin Field. The brackets for the tournament will be announced later this evening after the conclusion of today's games.
Rhodes opened the game's scoring with a pair of runs in the second. The Lynx would then score three runs in the third and then posted a run in the fourth for a 6-0 lead. Rhodes would maintain the six-run lead until the top of the seventh. The Panthers loaded the bases with singles from senior David Bourbonnais, junior Zach Wagner, and sophomore Matt Brown. Senior Evan Grovenstein was hit by a pitch and credited with the RBI that scored Bourbonnais. The Lynx scored their final run of the game in the eighth while holding the Panthers scoreless the rest of the way.
Senior Ralls Pennington (5-4) started for the Panthers and took the loss after throwing two and a third innings and surrendering four hits and five runs. Only one of the runs was earned however, as the Panthers committed four errors in the field behind Pennington. The platoon of freshman Ryan Gaines, sophomore Wilson Jamison, and junior Paul Caudill took to the mound in relief. The trio only allowed two more runs the remainder of the game and collected seven strikeouts, six of which belonged to Gaines.
The BSC offensive effort was led by Bourbonnais and Wagner as each had two hits and a walk on the afternoon.