BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—With the go-ahead run scored in the bottom of the eighth, the No. 4 Birmingham-Southern baseball team fell to No. 13 Rhodes, 2-1, in game two of the 2015 Southern Athletic Association Baseball Championship title series. After winning yesterday 4-2, the Lynx are the 2015 SAA baseball champions.
The Panthers fell to 34-10-1, while the Lynx moved to 32-11. Rhodes earns an automatic berth to the NCAA Regionals, May 13-17; BSC is still in the running to earn an at-large bid. The fields will be announced by the NCAA on May 10.
BSC, batting as the visiting team, started the game by leaving three runners stranded in the top of the first, but got on the board in the top of the second. Senior Casey Lambert led off with an infield single and went to second on a sacrifice bunt by senior Brandon Marino. An RBI single to deep right-center field by freshman Brayden Housel then allowed Lambert to score from second.
Rhodes tied it up in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI ground-out by David Balaguer. BSC sophomore starter Ryan Gaines and Rhodes starter Adam Putnam battled it out after that, with Gaines retiring 13 straight Lynx batters after the run was scored in the fourth. Putnam was also highly effective, retiring 18 of 20 BSC batters from the third to the eighth innings. Blake Glauben came in to pitch the top of the ninth and retired all three Panther batters, picking up his fifth save of the year.
Gaines threw the complete game, allowing four hits and two earned runs with only one walk and five strikeouts, falling to 7-4 on the season. Putnam moved to 9-2 after giving up five hits, one earned run, and one walk, with seven strikeouts in eight innings of work.