BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—The No. 4 Birmingham-Southern baseball team fell in game one of the 2015 Southern Athletic Association Baseball Championship title series, 4-2, Saturday afternoon at Striplin Field.
The Panthers fell to 33-9-1, while the Lynx moved to 31-11. The teams will face off again tomorrow in the best-of-three series, with game two at noon and game three, if necessary, at approximately 3:30 p.m.
Neither team scored through the first five-and-a-half innings, although Rhodes got runners to second, twice, and then to third in the top of the fourth inning, with BSC working out of it all three times. The Panthers got on the board in the bottom of the fifth, as senior Casey Lambert led off with a double to left field followed by a sac bunt from freshman Brayden Housel to move Lambert to third. Senior Brandon Marino singled to right after that, plating Lambert, and junior Taylor McCracken doubled to right-center to put runners on second and third. Junior Matt Brown reached on a fielder's choice, scoring Marino, to put the Panthers up 2-0. Lynx starter Daniel Morris came up big for Rhodes after that, striking out the final two BSC batters.
Rhodes got runners to second and third again in the top of the sixth, and BSC senior starter Blake Stevens worked his way out of it yet again, but the Lynx would finally get on the board in the top of the seventh on an RBI double from Josh Keen.
Senior David Bourbonnais came in to pitch for BSC in the top of the eighth and gave up the lead, allowing two runs to score before retiring three straight batters to end the half-inning. Rhodes added another in the top of the ninth, and sophomore David Scott got on base in the bottom of the ninth for BSC, but the Panthers were unable to score, with reliever Blake Glauben striking out the final batter of the game for his fourth save of the year.
Hits were even at nine for each team, with Marino, senior Jacob Mayfield, and sophomore Sam Roberts all going 2-4. Stevens threw seven innings and gave up five hits, one earned run, and five walks while striking out five Lynx batters. Bourbonnais (3-2) allowed four hits and two earned runs with one walk and two strikeouts.
Justin Genter led Rhodes at the plate going 2-5. Morris (9-0) pitched seven innings with eight hits, two earned runs, one walk, and five strikeouts. Glauben gave up only one hit with one strikeout in two innings of work for the save.