BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—The Panthers, comprised of the Birmingham-Southern Baseball junior and senior players, took game one of the Black and Gold Series, 11-0, over the Cubs team, which is comprised of the freshmen and sophomore players, Monday night at Striplin Field.
Junior Taylor McCracken led the way offensively, going 4-4 at the plate with four RBI and scoring three runs. The Panthers, wearing black in the series, scored first, plating three runs off Gold starting sophomore pitcher Easton Fuller with an RBI single from senior David Bourbonnais and then a sacrifice fly off the bat of junior Miller Bonds.
After a three up, three down top of the second by Panther starter and senior winning pitcher Blake Stevens, the Panthers extended the lead with a four-run second inning in the bottom of the frame. All of the runs were scored with two outs. McCracken had an RBI single, followed by an RBI double by senior catcher Jacob Mayfield, and then the Panthers finished the inning with a two-RBI triple from junior Nathan Qualls.
The Panthers would go on to add five more over the next three innings to seal the game one victory, highlighted by a McCracken three-run home run in the bottom of the fifth.
Stevens earned the win with three perfect innings of work, striking out six and walking none. Senior Ben Hession worked the fourth and fifth innings, and Wesley Walker finished it off for the Panthers throwing two scoreless innings as well.
In addition to McCracken's big day at the plate, junior Matt Brown, Qualls, and senior Casey Lambert each had two hits on the night. The Panthers finished with 14 total hits.
The Cubs, wearing gold in the series, were led at the plate by sophomore Jack Rhodes who got two hits and a stolen base.
The series resumes tonight, with first pitch at 6:30 p.m., with the Panthers sending senior LHP Paul Caudill to the mound against the Cubs' sophomore RHP Stephen Himic. The series wraps up Thursday night at 7 p.m.
The series winner eats ribs at Dreamland BBQ while the loser eats hot dogs.
WP – Stevens; LP – Fuller; S – None
2B – McCracken, Mayfield, Marino, R. Anderson
3B – Qualls
HR – McCracken
SB – Bourbonnais (2), Wingate, Rhodes, Scott
CS – Haynes, Rhodes, Drescher