Berry upsets No. 30 BSC in regular season finale

Assistant Coach Drew Briese (far left) and Head Coach Jan Weisberg (far right) with seniors (L to R) Stephen Denton, Brandon Perry, Ethan Wilkinson, and Blake Yance (photo by Cari Dean)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.--Thanks to eight runs scored in the top of the third, Berry upended No. 30 Birmingham-Southern at home on Senior Day, 12-6, to close out the regular season.

The Panthers fall to 27-13 overall and 16-5 in the Southern Athletic Association, while the Vikings move to 17-22 overall and 13-8 in the SAA.

BSC stands at second in the league standings with Millsaps' 3-1 win against Rhodes today, and will enter the SAA Championship next weekend as the second seed. The Panthers will host part of the first round, a four-team double-elimination tournament beginning next Friday, April 27. BSC will play seventh-seeded Centre in the first game. Times for all games will be set this week.

The winners of the two brackets will then meet the following weekend at the higher remaining seed in a best-of-three series for the championship.

Today was Senior Day for BSC, as Stephen Denton, Brandon Perry, Ethan Wilkinson, and Blake Yance were honored in pregame festivities.

BSC got on the board in the bottom of the third inning of today's game with RBI doubles from junior Jeremy Hatley and sophomore David Bourbonnais. Bourbonnais then scored on a Berry error to put the Panthers up 3-0.

BSC added another run in the bottom of the second on an RBI single by junior Evan Grovenstein.

After a BSC pitching change, the Vikings exploded for eight runs in the top of the third. They led off with two straight singles and recorded five RBI as well as two runs scored on BSC errors and one scored on a wild pitch. The Vikings added two more in the top of the fourth on a two-run double to go up 10-4.

The Panthers scored twice in the bottom of the fourth on a Hatley sac-fly and a run scored on a balk, but Berry responded in kind, scoring twice in the top of the fifth to stretch the lead back out to 12-6.

The remainder of the game turned into a pitcher's duel, with the teams combining for six hits after the top of the fifth and neither team scoring again.

The Panthers recorded 11 hits, led by Bourbonnais (3-4) and Grovenstein (3-5). The Vikings collected 15 hits.

Wilkinson started on the mound for BSC and went two innings, giving up two hits with one strikeout. Sophomore Blake Stevens (3-2) threw the next 1.1 innings and took the loss after allowing seven hits and eight earned runs. Junior Miles Nordgren threw the next 2.2 innings and gave up four hits and two earned runs and one strikeout, and Yance came in for the final three innings and gave up two hits with one strikeout.