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March 9, 2014

No. 23 Panthers defeat No. 24 Millsaps 4-1 to take SAA series

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Courtesy of three runs in the bottom of the first inning, the No. 23 Birmingham-Southern baseball team defeated No. 24 Millsaps, 4-1, to take the rubber game of the Southern Athletic Association series this afternoon at Striplin Field.

The Panthers move to 11-2 overall and 5-1 in conference play, tied with Berry at first place in the league standings. Millsaps is now 9-7 on the season and 1-2 in conference.

BSC wasted no time claiming the lead Sunday afternoon, recording three hits and a sac-fly in the home half of the first. Sophomore Taylor McCracken led off with a single to left and was followed by senior Evan Grovenstein's walk to put a runner in scoring position for junior Jacob Mayfield. A double to left-center from Mayfield brought home McCracken and advanced Grovenstein to third. A sac-fly from senior David Bourbonnais plated Grovenstein for a 2-0 Panther lead. The inning's final run came courtesy of a RBI single from freshman Zach Wingate that scored Mayfield.

The three runs of support were more than enough for senior Ralls Pennington (3-1) and the BSC pitching staff. Pennington took the mound for the Panthers and threw six innings of three-hit ball to earn the victory. The only run scored by the Majors came in the fifth. Freshman Ryan Gaines pitched two innings of scoreless relief to set up closer Bourbonnais, who earned his third save of the season after sitting down all three Majors in the top of the ninth to secure the victory.

The final Panther run came in the bottom of the seventh when a Bourbonnais single to left scored McCracken to bring the game to the final 4-1 score.

BSC returns to action at Striplin Field tomorrow at 4 p.m. when Covenant College comes to town for a single game, and the Panthers host Hampden-Sydney College on Wednesday at 4 p.m. before hosting Hendrix next weekend in an SAA series beginning Friday night at 6 p.m.