BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—With two wins over Berry College today, the No. 7 Birmingham-Southern baseball team fought its way out of the elimination bracket to earn a spot in and host next weekend's Southern Athletic Association Championship title series.
BSC won by the scores of 16-9 and 13-1 today against the Vikings. It will be the third straight year that the Panthers have hosted the title series, and the third straight time to meet Rhodes College to play for the conference crown.
The top-seeded Panthers now stand at 34-10 on the year, while the third-seeded Lynx, who upset second-seeded Hendrix earlier today, stand at 25-18 and have won six straight games.
- After scoring three runs in the bottom of the second, including a two-RBI single by senior Matt Brown, BSC gave up six runs to Berry in the top of the third, with half of those coming from a home run by Brady Smith.
- The Panthers answered almost immediately, adding four in the bottom of the third to pull ahead 7-6.
- The Vikings evened it up in the top of the fourth, but BSC scored four more in the bottom of the fourth, thanks in part to an RBI triple by sophomore Brayden Housel.
- The Panthers increased their lead to 14-7 in the bottom of the fifth, and then a two-run homer by freshman Tyler Wise put BSC up 16-7 in the sixth.
- A two-run homer from Ben Jernigan cut the lead to 14-9 in the top of the ninth, and the Vikings got a runner to third before the Panthers caught fly balls on the final two outs to end the game and force game two.
- Wise was 3-of-3 at the dish with three RBI, while junior Jack Rhodes was 3-of-5 with four RBI.
- Housel was 2-of-5 with three RBI, senior Taylor McCracken was 3-of-6, and Brown was 2-of-4 with two RBI.
- In total, the Panthers recorded 19 hits, 10 more than the Vikings.
- Sophomore Ross James (5-1) tossed four innings in relief to pick up the win, allowing three hits and one earned run.
- Junior Easton Fuller started on the mound, and freshman Vincent Torres threw the final two innings.
- Both teams scored a single run in the second inning, and BSC began its offensive assault in the bottom of the third, scoring four runs, with three of those off the bat of Wise for a three-run homer.
- The Panthers added three more in the fourth to go up 8-1, and then five more in the sixth, including a Wise grand slam for his sixth long ball of the year, putting BSC up 13-1 for the victory.
- Wise was 2-of-4 for seven RBI, putting him at 5-of-7 on the day with 10 RBI in two games.
- McCracken and junior David Scott both went 3-of-5 at the plate, with Scott adding two RBI.
- Junior Stephen Himic (8-2) started and got the win after throwing five innings and giving up seven hits and one earned run.
- Senior Kyle Royalty and freshman Jake Cook also saw action on the mound.
- BSC takes a break from post-season conference action on Tuesday, hosting Belhaven University at 4 p.m.
- The Panthers will then host the SAA title series next weekend, facing Rhodes on Saturday and Sunday in a best-of-three series to determine the conference champion.