DEMOREST, Ga. – The No. 7-ranked Birmingham-Southern baseball team split a doubleheader against Piedmont on Friday night.
The Panthers dropped the first game before regrouping to pick up the win in game two.
Two tough innings doomed BSC in game one as they gave up five runs in the second and fourth innings, putting them in a hole they were unable to climb out of.
Junior right-hander John Michael Shirley (Mobile, Ala./UMS-Wright Prep) got the start on the mound for BSC but was pulled in the fourth inning after giving up 10 runs – seven which were earned – off eight hits. He picked up the loss.
Four other Panthers got the call to the mound before the night was over. Senior Ross James (Cape Girardeau, Mo./Notre Dame HS), junior Vinny Torres (Bronx, N.Y./Mercersburg Academy), junior Alex Hans (Tuscaloosa, Ala./Northridge HS) and freshman Matt Reid (Moundville, Ala./Tuscaloosa Academy) each tossed an inning in relief of Shirley.
On the offensive side, the Panthers managed six hits in the loss. BSC scored one run in the third after a Piedmont error scored Richie Misischia (Dothan, Ala./Regis HS). The Panthers capped their scoring in the following inning when sophomore Will Toner (Atlanta, Ga./Marist HS) and junior catcher A.J. Hunt (Memphis, Tenn./Memphis University School) both hit RBI doubles to cut the Lions lead to 10-3.
Piedmont added two more runs in the fifth inning to secure the final 12-3 lead.
In game two, the Panthers defeated the Lions 7-6.
BSC got on the board first with three runs in the top of the third inning. The Panthers then added on two runs in the sixth and a run in both the seventh and eighth innings to give them their seven runs.
Misischia and junior Tyler Wise (Birmingham, Ala./Spain Park HS) led the Panthers offensively. Both were 2-for-3 at the plate and scored two runs. Wise also added a double, a home run and two RBIs.
Junior Jake Cook (Oxford, Ala./Oxford HS) started for BSC, pitching five and two-thirds innings before making way for reliever Tristan Harvin (Dothan, Ala./Houston Academy). Cook faced 23 batters, allowing just one run off three hits and striking out six before being pulled.
Harvin gave up four runs in the seventh inning and was relieved by Misischia, who closed out the game. Misischia gave up one run in the ninth inning which brought Piedmont within one run; however, the lefty got the save by striking out the final batter and leaving the game-tying run for Piedmont stranded at third.
After Friday's twin bill the Panthers improve to 2-1 on the season. Birmingham-Southern will complete its weekend series against Piedmont on Sunday with the third and final game starting at 2 p.m. ET.