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No. 4 Baseball splits with No. 21 Millsaps to wrap up SAA series

Jacob Mayfield (photo by Cari Dean)
Jacob Mayfield (photo by Cari Dean)

JACKSON, Miss.—After dropping a 9-8 decision in the first game of the day, the No. 4 Birmingham-Southern baseball team rebounded with a 12-5 win in game three against No. 21 Millsaps, Saturday afternoon at Twenty Field in Jackson, Miss.

The Panthers moved to 24-5-1 overall and 11-3-1 in the Southern Athletic Association, while the Majors moved to 22-5, 12-3 in the SAA. Millsaps now stands at first in the standings after going 2-1 against the Panthers, followed by BSC at second and then Rhodes at 10-4 in third.

The Panthers found themselves in a 4-0 hole by the end of the third inning of game one today, and finally got on the board in the top of the fifth on an RBI double from senior David Bourbonnais. Millsaps responded in the bottom of the fifth with two more runs to increase the lead to 6-1. A home run by senior Jacob Mayfield in the top of the sixth cut it to 6-2, but the Majors answered again with two in the bottom of the seventh to pull ahead 8-2.

BSC led off the top of the eighth with three straight base hits, including an RBI single by junior Matt Brown. Brown would eventually score on a Millsaps error with no outs on the board. The Majors then turned a double play, but junior Taylor McCracken was able to score from third, cutting the lead to 8-5.

Millsaps scored one more in the bottom of the eighth to stretch the lead to 9-5, but BSC opened the ninth in similar fashion to the eighth, leading off with three straight base hits, including a Bourbonnais RBI double. After several defensive changes by the Majors, senior Casey Lambert hit an RBI single to right field before Bourbonnais scored on an error, cutting it to 9-8 with no outs and runners on first and second. A McCracken sac-bunt put runners on second and third with one out before Mayfield was intentionally walked to load the bases, but the Majors pitching came through strong for the last two outs, striking out a batter before a center-field fly ended the game.

Sophomore Ryan Gaines (5-2) took the loss for BSC, allowing 10 hits and three earned runs with no walks and five strikeouts. Five different Panthers recorded two hits apiece, and Bourbonnais led the team with two RBIs.

In the nightcap BSC got on the board early, scoring a single run in the top of the second on a Lambert RBI single. The Panthers then pulled ahead 6-0 in the top of the fifth, scoring on a McCracken RBI single, a Mayfield RBI double, and sac-flies from sophomores Zach Wingate and Sam Roberts. The Majors broke through in the bottom of the fifth with a single run, but BSC added four more in the top of the sixth. Both teams scored twice in the bottom of the sixth and then top of the seventh before the Majors wrapped up the game's scoring in the bottom of the seventh, cutting it to a final of 12-5 in favor of BSC.

Brown and McCracken were both 3-4 at the dish, while Mayfield led with three RBI. Sophomore Stephen Himic (3-0) got the win on the mound, going 5.0 innings and giving up seven hits and one earned run with two strikeouts. Junior Kyle Royalty and Bourbonnais saw relief action.

The Panthers are in action again this Tuesday, April 7, in an exhibition game against the Birmingham Barons at 6:30 p.m. on Regions Field in Birmingham. BSC will then travel to face Piedmont on Wednesday, April 8, before returning home to host Rhodes in a three-game SAA series next weekend at Striplin Field.