No. 5 Panthers defeat Huntingdon on the road, 4-3

No. 5 Panthers defeat Huntingdon on the road, 4-3

MONTGOMERY, Ala.—The fifth-ranked Birmingham-Southern baseball team completed the season sweep of in-state foe Huntingdon College, 4-3, Wednesday evening at Posey Field in Montgomery, Ala.

Wednesday's midweek contest, a make-up game from earlier in the season that was postponed due to weather, was the second game in two days between the only two Division III programs in the state. Combined with Tuesday's 5-1 win, BSC improves to 19-3-1 on the season, while Huntingdon falls to 14-11 for the year.

The Panthers wasted little time producing at the plate, as the two, three, and four hitters in the lineup successfully reached base in the top of the first. After drawing a one-out walk, junior Taylor McCracken came home a batter later courtesy of a double to right-center off the bat of senior Jacob Mayfield. The senior would come around to score when cleanup hitter senior Zach Wingate laced a single down the right field line.

BSC's 2-0 lead would prove to be short-lived. A Panther throwing error in the bottom of the first provided host Huntingdon an unearned run to cut the Panther advantage in half at 2-1 after a full inning of play. Huntingdon tacked on two more runs in the fourth to claim their first lead of the series at 3-2.

Momentum would not stay in the home team's dugout for long. BSC squared the contest up at three in the fifth when a single from lead-off batter junior Matt Brown scored junior Miller Bonds. The Panthers reclaimed the lead an inning later in the sixth when sophomore Jack Rhodes followed his triple to left-center by scoring on a wild pitch.

The 4-3 lead would prove to be enough for the Panther bullpen as relievers junior Kyle Royalty (2-0) and senior David Bourbonnais combined to shut out Huntingdon over the final five innings. Royalty's outing was highlighted by a season-high eight strikeouts compared to zero free passes issued in his four innings of work. Bourbonnais picked up his fourth save of the season when he ended the game with two consecutive strikeouts to preserve the win. For their five innings of work on the evening, the pair would fan a combined 10, walk none, and give up a mere two hits. Senior Paul Caudill started and struck out four in four innings for a total of 14 strikeouts, tying the season-high.

The Panthers return home this weekend for a Southern Athletic Association three-game series against Sewanee, with games beginning at 1 p.m. both Saturday, March 28, and Sunday, March 29, at Striplin Field.