BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The No. 15 Birmingham-Southern baseball team split with No. 14 LaGrange College in Friday's NCAA Regional doubleheader at Striplin Field.
Birmingham-Southern routed LaGrange in game one 15-6 to take the 1-0 series advantage on Friday. BSC scored runs in the first, second, fifth, seventh and eighth innings with the big number falling in the nine-run fifth inning.
BSC was led offensively by designated hitter Tyler Hamel (Atlanta, Ga./Alpharetta HS), who finished the game 3-of-6 with six RBI and a run scored.
Senior first baseman Tyler Wise (Birmingham, Ala./Spain Park HS) also contributed significantly at plate, going 3-of-5 with two RBI and three runs scored.
Five different BSC Panthers had scored multiple and five had multiple runs scored.
Birmingham-Southern ace Jake Cook (Oxford, Ala./Oxford HS) got the start on the mound and the win in the opening game of the series. Cook tossed six innings, allowing four runs off eight hits while striking out five.
Freshman right-hander Oliver Livingston (Decatur, Ga./Decatur HS) came in in relief of Cook, tossing three innings and allowing two runs off four hits. Livingston picked up the save, his first of the season.
Birmingham-Southern dropped the second game of the day, 11-7, to move the series to 1-1.
BSC fell behind 4-0 to start the game but came back to take a 5-4 lead shortly before surrendering its first lead of the game and suffering the defeat in the end.
Senior John Michael Shirley (Mobile, Ala./UMS-Wright Prep) got the start, tossing six innings and allowing four runs off seven hits while striking out six batters. Junior Robbie Lively (Helena, Ala./Southern Union) came in in relief of Shirley, picking up the loss after allowing seven runs – none earned – in one-third innings pitched.
At the plate, four different Panthers had multiple hits and three had multiple RBI. But it was Wise's two-run home run in the seventh inning that gave BSC the 5-4 advantage, its first lead of the game.
However, LaGrange immediately responded with a seven-run bottom seventh and fended BSC off in the final inning of the game to go on to win.
The loss for Birmingham-Southern snapped a 13-game winning streak and marked its first loss since a 4-3 defeat at Centre on April 13.
BSC and LaGrange will meet again on Saturday in another NCAA Regional doubleheader. With the series tied at 1-1, a regional champion can be crowned with a Saturday sweep by either team. First pitch for game three of the series is set for 1 p.m. with game four to begin 50 minutes after the conclusion of game three.
JOIN THE B-FUND TODAY – Support BSC Athletics today by joining the B-Fund. Gifts to the B-Fund help support all of our 22 sports teams, coaches, and 450+ student-athletes. Used as the common funding source for championship rings, championship banners, facility upgrades, new transportation, and more, the B-Fund allows the department to enhance the athletic experience of every student-athlete at Birmingham-Southern.