Strong offense propels No. 18 BSC past No. 23 Adrian, 9-3

Strong offense propels No. 18 BSC past No. 23 Adrian, 9-3

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Behind a four-hit performance from senior Jacob Mayfield and a three-RBI afternoon from junior Nathan Qualls, the 18th-ranked Birmingham-Southern baseball team defeated No. 23 Adrian College, 9-3, Saturday afternoon at Striplin Field.

With the victory the Panthers are now 4-0 on the young season, while the Bulldogs fall to 0-2.

BSC used a pair of three-run innings to race out to a quick, early lead and never looked back, notching their second win in the last two days over fellow top-25 club Adrian. BSC defeated the Bulldogs 6-5 on Friday evening.

After sophomore starter Ryan Gaines (1-0) quickly retired the Adrian side in the top of the first with a strikeout and two ground outs, the Panther offense went to work. A lead-off single from junior Matt Brown quickly turned into a run courtesy of two Adrian mistakes. A balk with junior Taylor McCracken at the plate moved Brown to second and then a fielding error allowed McCracken to reach first while Brown advanced to third. Mayfield's first hit of the day, a single to right, scored Brown and left McCracken on third. A double to left from sophomore Zach Wingate brought McCracken around and Mayfield to third. A sacrifice fly from sophomore Sam Roberts wrapped up a busy home half of the first for the Panthers to secure the early 3-0 advantage.

The Panther bats once again came alive in the third after two early singles put Panthers at the corners, Mayfield and Roberts, with one out. A fielder's choice RBI from sophomore Jack Rhodes brought home Mayfield and moved Roberts to second. Another Adrian miscue, this time a passed ball, moved Panther runners to second and third. A single up the middle from Qualls plated both Roberts and Rhodes for two of his game-high three RBI.

After surrendering two runs to Adrian in the fourth, BSC answered with a run of their own an inning later to claim a 7-2 lead after five innings of action.

The five-run lead would be more than enough for the relief team of junior Miller Bonds and sophomore Stephen Himic as they would yield only one run and two hits in four innings of relief.

BSC tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the eighth when Mayfield's double to right, combined with an Adrian throwing error, brought home McCracken, who led off the inning with a single. Mayfield would not be left on base for long as Wingate would step to the plate next and lace a single up the middle to bring him home.

Adrian starter Jordan Frayer took the loss, allowing eight hits and six earned runs with three strikeouts in 4.2 innings of work. Gaines went five innings for BSC with four strikeouts.

The Panthers are in action again tomorrow at home, hosting Transylvania University at 11 a.m.