BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The No. 15 Birmingham-Southern baseball team split with No. 14 LaGrange in the NCAA Regional doubleheader on Saturday afternoon, tying the series up at 2-2 heading into Sunday's final game.
Birmingham-Southern dropped the third game of the series to LaGrange 6-4 on Saturday afternoon, falling behind 2-1 in the series.
LaGrange jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the third inning, but BSC responded with a four-run bottom half of the inning. A Tyler Wise (Birmingham, Ala./Spain Park HS) RBI scored one before a three-run home run by designated hitter Tyler Hamel (Atlanta, Ga./Alpharetta HS) gave BSC the 4-3 lead.
LaGrange retook the lead in the following inning, 5-4, never to surrender it and tacked on an insurance run in the sixth.
Junior Andy Hammond (Oxford, Ala./Oxford HS) got the start and ended on the hook for the loss. Hammond tossed three and one-third innings, allowing five runs off seven hits.
Junior Hanan Mauldin (Florence, Ala./Florence HS) came in in relief and finished out the game, pitching five and two-thirds innings.
Down 2-1 in the series, game four was a must-win for BSC to keep the series alive, and the Panthers got off to a good start, scoring one run in the first inning and adding three more in the second inning to take an early 4-0 lead.
LaGrange got on the scoreboard in the bottom half of the second with one run, but BSC extended its lead back to four when Preston Munns (Marietta, Ga./Lassiter HS) smashed a solo homer over the left center field wall in the fourth inning.
Up 5-1 in the sixth, however, the game was not yet decided. LaGrange put together a four-run sixth inning to tie the game up at 5-5 going into the final third of the game.
The game would ultimately be decided in the ninth inning. In the top half, BSC led off with Wise being hit by a pitch, followed by a Hamel single, a sacrifice bunt and then an intentional walk to load the bases.
With the bags full, sophomore Will Evans (Peachtree City, Ga./Starrs Mill HS) came to the plate and dropped an RBI single into left field, scoring the go-ahead run. The next batter, junior Cory Price (Hoover, Ala./UAH), drew an RBI walk to bring in BSC's seventh run of the game, and sophomore shortstop Alfredo Granier (Atlanta, Ga./Holy Innocents' Episcopal) hit an RBI groundout to give BSC the 8-5 lead and cap the scoring.
No BSC player struck out during the game.
Senior left-hander Richie Misischia (Dothan, Ala./Regis HS), normally appearing as a reliever, got the start on the mound in game four. Misischia threw six innings, allowing five runs – four earned – on six hits while striking out five batters.
Sophomore Tristan Harvin (Dothan, Ala./Houston Academy) came in in relief and earned the win, his fourth of the year, pitching three innings and closing out the game.
With the win, Birmingham-Southern improves to 36-13 overall on the season.
With the series tied up at 2-2, BSC and LaGrange will play in a winner-take-all game five of the NCAA Regional on Sunday afternoon at Striplin Field. The designated home team will be determined by a coin flip. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.
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