BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The No. 22-ranked Birmingham-Southern baseball team clinched the Southern Athletic Association Tournament Championship on Monday, defeating Rhodes College 6-3 in game two.
The Panthers swept both games against the Lynx, winning the first game on Sunday 11-4 before earning the decisive victory on Monday.
BSC fell behind early on Monday when Rhodes tacked on two runs in the first inning. The Panthers knotted it back up in the third when Alfredo Granier (Atlanta, Ga./Holy Innocents' Episcopal) scored on a wild pitch and Tyler Wise (Hoover, Ala./Spain Park HS) hit an RBI single to score Brian Williams (Marietta, Ga./Lassiter HS).
In the sixth inning, the Lynx retook the lead 3-2 but it did not take long for BSC to take its first lead of the game. The Panther bats heated up started in the seventh. Williams singled to center field to score the go-ahead runner, Richie Misischia (Dothan, Ala./Regis HS).
The Panthers added another run in the eighth off a Tyler Hamel (Atlanta, Ga./Alpharetta HS) solo home run and then capped the scoring in the ninth off an error and an RBI single by Will Evans (Peachtree City, Ga./Starrs Mill HS).
Senior right-hander John Michael Shirley (Mobile, Ala./UMS-Wright Prep) got the start and the win, pitching seven innings, striking out six and walking just two. Misischia came in in the eighth to relieve Shirley, striking out two and earning his sixth save of the season.
During the postgame awards presentation, BSC was presented the conference championship trophy by SAA commissioner Jay Gardiner and Birmingham-Southern College president Daniel Coleman.
Wise, Shirley and Hamel were named to the SAA All-Tournament team with Hamel named MVP.
The SAA Tournament Championship is BSC's third overall and its first since 2016. The Panthers head out of the conference tournament with an overall record of 34-11 and are currently ranked second in the NCAA South Region. Birmingham-Southern will find out about its upcoming NCAA regional competition when the NCAA Selection Show is aired on Sunday, May 12.
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