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No. 22 Panthers complete series sweep of Centre

Jacob Mayfield (photo by Cari Dean)

DANVILLE, Ky.--The 22nd-ranked Birmingham-Southern baseball team defeated Centre College twice today to complete the three-game series sweep of the Colonels, winning 11-2 and 4-2.

The Panthers move to 20-8 overall and 11-1 in the Southern Athletic Association, leading the league standings. The Colonels fall to 10-13 overall and 4-8 in the SAA.

Game one was scoreless until the bottom of the second, when Centre got on the board with a single unearned run. The Panthers took the lead in the top of the fourth with two outs on the board when senior Stephen Denton hit a two-run single to score sophomores David Bourbonnais and Jake Campbell.

BSC added to its total in the top of the fifth, scoring twice with a sacrifice fly-out from sophomore Tanner McGill and a Campbell RBI single, and the Panthers pulled even farther ahead in the top of the sixth with four runs to stretch the lead to 8-1. Junior Evan Grovenstein posted an RBI on a ground-out, and junior Jeremy Hatley sent the ball over the fence for three runs. It was Hatley's second home run of the year after going long in yesterday's game against Centre.

BSC recorded single RBIs in the next three innings, courtesy of freshmen Matt Brown and Tommy Allmon and Grovenstein, to pull ahead 11-1. The Colonels scored once more in the bottom of the ninth on a sac-fly with two outs, but weren't able to score any more, allowing the Panthers to come away with the big win.

The Panthers recorded 16 hits, led by Mayfield who was 3-4. Junior right-hander Ralls Pennington started on the mound and threw six innings, allowing seven hits with three strikeouts to move to 9-6 on the year. Freshman Wilson Jamison came in for the next two innings and gave up a hit with three strikeouts, and Bourbonnais pitched the final inning, allowing one hit with one strikeout.

In the nightcap, neither team scored until the bottom of the fifth when the Colonels put up a single run on a wild pitch. BSC took the lead almost immediately, scoring twice in the top of the sixth courtesy of RBIs from freshman Taylor McCracken and Mayfield.

A two-run single from Grovenstein put BSC up 4-1 in the top of the seventh. Centre was able to score only once more in the bottom of the seventh, and the Panthers clinched the 4-2 victory with a strikeout by senior Blake Yance to end the game and give him his eighth save of the year.

Junior Miles Nordgren got the win on the mound, moving to 3-0 after giving up three hits and one earned run with four strikeouts in six innings. Yance pitched one inning and allowed two hits and one earned run with one strikeout.

The Panthers had seven hits, led by McCracken with a 2-4 performance at the plate.

BSC travels to Atlanta this Wednesday for a regional game against Emory at 3 p.m. Eastern, and the Panthers return home next weekend for a conference series against Rhodes. Games are slated for 6 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday at Striplin Field.