BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – No. 3 Birmingham-Southern baseball is the top seed in the upcoming Southern Athletic Association Tournament and will be hosting first round games April 28-30. The Panthers (32-6, 19-2 SAA) welcome Centre College, Berry College and Sewanee to the Hilltop in a battle to see who will advance to the conference championship series.
BSC has won 16 of its last 17 games heading into the tournament. They have been led offensively by David Scott (Atlanta, Ga./Woodward Academy), Rich Misischia (Dothan, Ala./Regis HS), and Preston White (Memphis, Tenn./Memphis University School).
Scott is the team's hits and runs leader. He is currently third in the country and leads the league in stolen bases. Misischia is also ranked for stolen bases. He leads the team in batting average at .342 and is third in the SAA for walks.
White leads the league in doubles and is ranked 12th nationally for the stat. His .613 slugging percentage is third best in the league. And he is coming off a game where he hit two home runs and scored three runs with two RBI to help lead the Panthers to victory.
The BSC bullpen has been paced by starters Ryan Gaines (Dunwoody, Ga./Dunwoody HS) and Stephen Himic (Birmingham, Ala./Indian Springs HS). Both are ranked fourth nationally in victories and lead the league. Himic also ranks nationally in three other categories, including ERA, with a league leading 1.94. Gaines is fourth in the conference and leads the team in total strikeouts.
Easton Fuller (Fairhope, Ala./Alexandria HS) has put in quality time on the mound as well. He leads the conference with four saves. He has struck out 29 batters in his 34.2 innings of work this season, the third most behind Gaines and Himic.
As a team, the Panthers rank top 10 nationally in five different categories, including fifth in win-loss percentage. They are top three in the league in eight categories, leading in RBI and stolen bases.
Additional information about the tournament, BSC, and Birmingham is available on the tournament website HERE.
Game 1: Friday, April 28 at 12:30 p.m.
#4 Berry College Vikings (21-19, 10-10 SAA) vs. #5 Sewanee Tigers (18-21, 8-12 SAA)
Berry took the series 2-1 when they hosted Sewanee April 1-2. The Vikings swept the doubleheader 4-0 and 13-7. Sewanee used a four-run first inning to pace its 7-5 win in the series finale.
Game 2: Friday, April 28 at 4:30 p.m.
#1 Birmingham-Southern (32-6, 19-2 SAA) vs. #8 Centre College (17-19, 6-15 SAA)
BSC won its series 2-1 at Centre March 18-19. The Panthers took their doubleheader 9-0, 1-0, but then fell 3-0 in the series finale. It was BSC's only shutout loss of the season and sparked a 13-game win streak. This is the first time since 2015 the two teams have met in the first round of the tournament. BSC won the meeting 10-0.