BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Thanks to a seven-run fourth inning, including senior Matt Brown's 200th career hit, the No. 4 Birmingham-Southern baseball team defeated Rhodes, 13-5, Sunday afternoon in the title game of the Southern Athletic Association Championship.
The Panthers moved to 37-11, winning their second SAA title in three years, and third conference championship in five years. The Lynx end their season with a record of 26-20.
BSC will earn the SAA's automatic berth to the NCAA post-season, beginning with regional play May 18-22. The NCAA will announce the entire tournament field on May 16. It will be BSC's third-straight trip to the NCAA regional, and fourth trip in five seasons.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- A towering home run over the left field fence from junior Sam Roberts to lead off the bottom of the second put the Panthers up 1-0, but an RBI single from Bennett Notestine tied things up in the top of the third.
- The Panthers led off the fourth with three straight singles to quickly load the bases, including one by Brown for his 200th career hit.
- After a strikeout for the first out, two runs were walked in to put BSC up 3-1.
- After another strikeout for the second out, two more runs came in on a hit batter and another walk, prompting a pitching change by the Lynx.
- Junior David Scott then stepped up to the plate and hit a bases-clearing double, increasing BSC's lead to 8-1.
- Rhodes added two more runs in sixth, as did the Panthers, thanks to a Brown sac-fly and another RBI walk, putting the home team up 10-3.
- Nick Bosma hit a two-run home run for Rhodes in the eighth for the Lynx's final two runs of the game, and BSC scored three in the eighth on an RBI triple by Brown and a sac-fly by Roberts to pull ahead 13-5.
- Brown and Scott both recorded three RBI, and Roberts had two.
- Roberts and Scott were 2-of-3 at the plate, and Brown was 2-of-4.
- Brown now has 201 career hits, becoming the fifth player in the NCAA Division III era to achieve that milestone; earlier this season, senior Taylor McCracken was the fourth player to do so.
- Senior Kyle Royalty (6-0) got the win on the mound, giving up two hits and no earned runs with six strikeouts.
- Sophomore Ross James, freshman John Michael Shirley, junior Easton Fuller, and senior Wilson Jamison also all saw action on the mound.
- With today's SAA title, BSC has now won five conference championships (Men's Swimming and Diving, Women's Basketball, Men's Basketball, Men's Track and Field, Baseball) this season.
- The Panthers have also won six SAA regular season titles this year (Women's Basketball, Men's Basketball, Baseball, Softball, Women's Lacrosse, Men's Tennis).
- BSC will earn the SAA's automatic berth to the NCAA post-season, beginning with regional play May 18-22.
- The NCAA will announce the entire tournament field on May 16.