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Walker's ninth-inning three-run homer lifts No. 24 Panthers past Rhodes, 6-5

Jon Walker

MEMPHIS, Tenn.—After trailing for all but the first half of the first inning, the No. 24 Birmingham-Southern baseball team came back to defeat Rhodes, 6-5, courtesy of a three-run home run in the top of the ninth by senior Jon Walker.

BSC moves to 21-6 overall and 6-0 in the SCAC with the three-game sweep, while Rhodes falls to 15-12 overall and 4-2 in the conference.

An RBI single from sophomore Austin Justice in the top of the first put BSC up 1-0, but the lead was short-lived as the Lynx scored three in the bottom of the first and then two more in the bottom of the second to go up 5-1.

The Panthers scored on an error in the fifth to cut it to 5-2, and an RBI double by freshman Zach Wagner in the sixth cut it to 5-3.

In the top of the ninth, their last chance to come back, BSC led off with a pinch-hit single by sophomore Ethan Netherton. Freshman Brandon Marino, pinch running for Netherton, made it to second on the next out, which was a run-down between the first and second basemen. After the second out, junior Bruce Maxwell walked to put two runners on before Walker came to the plate and hit it over the left field fence to put BSC ahead 6-5.

With freshman David Bourbonnais pitching, the Panthers held Rhodes scoreless in the bottom of the ninth, only allowing a baserunner due to an error but getting the third out on a swinging strikeout.

BSC recorded 10 total hits, led by sophomore Evan Grovenstein who was 3-5. Walker was 2-3 and Justice was 2-5.

Bourbonnais pitched the last three innings of the game and got the win to move to 1-1 on the season, recording five strikeouts with no hits allowed. Senior Jesse Meier started on the mound and threw two innings, giving up nine hits and three earned runs before junior Blake Yance took over for the next four innings. He had six strikeouts while allowing three hits.

BSC returns home this Wednesday, April 4, for a non-conference matchup with Emory at 6 p.m. at Striplin Field.