BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The No. 15 Birmingham-Southern baseball team hosts No. 17 Coe College in the NCAA Super Regional at Striplin Field on May 24-25.
Birmingham-Southern (37-13) comes into the Super Regional after eliminating No. 14 LaGrange in a tough, hard-fought, five-game NCAA Regional series played at Striplin Field. After splitting the doubleheaders on each of the first two game days, BSC beat LaGrange 14-6 in the decisive game five.
Before the regional, BSC was on an 11-game winning streak, and the Panthers have now won 14 of their last 16 games. This season, BSC is 8-6 against ranked opponents.
The Coe Kohawks (37-6), the American Rivers Conference tournament runner-up, earned an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament. Since then, the Kohawks have defeated No. 25 Aurora 10-1 and took two of three games from No. 5 Washington University in St. Louis to advance to the Super Regional.
This weekend's series is a series of firsts for both sides. It will be the first time BSC and Coe have ever met on the baseball diamond, and it is the first Super Regional appearance for both teams. Should the Panthers advance, it will be their first ever appearance in the NCAA Division III World Series.
In order to get past Coe College this weekend, BSC will need to be at its best offensively and defensively once again. Senior first baseman Tyler Wise (Birmingham, Ala./Spain Park HS) was the Panthers hottest hitter in the LaGrange series, batting .609 with 14 hits, eight runs, a home run and nine RBI. Fellow senior Tyler Hamel (Atlanta, Ga./Alpharetta HS) was also on a tear in the NCAA Regional, hitting two home runs, scoring five times and knocking in 12 base runners.
Eight of the 12 Panthers to pick up a bat in the regional series hit better than .300, and every hitter contributed with at least one RBI and one run scored. BSC hit .357 against LaGrange in the five-game set.
Seniors Jake Cook (Oxford, Ala/Oxford HS) and John Michael Shirley (Mobile, Ala./UMS-Wright Prep) and junior Andy Hammond (Oxford, Ala./Oxford HS) are the likely starters for each game against the Kohawks, should the series be extended to three games, and will be key to the Panthers success in the series.
BSC's relievers will also be critical. Junior left-hander Hanan Mauldin (Florence, Ala./Florence HS) and sophomore Tristan Harvin (Dothan, Ala./Houston Academy) each pitched significant innings against LaGrange and picked up wins in relief roles.
The NCAA Super Regional matchup this weekend is a best-of-three game series. Game one will be played on Friday, May 24 at 4:30 p.m. at Striplin Field. A coin toss will determine the designated home team for the game. Game two will be played on Saturday, May 25 at 1:30 p.m. with the loser of the coin toss before game one serving as the designated home side.
Game three, if necessary, will be played on Saturday afternoon following the conclusion of game two. The home team will be determined by a coin toss.
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