MILLINGTON, Tenn. - Both of the SCAC's top 10 nationally ranked teams, Birmingham-Southern and Trinity advanced to the winner's bracket semifinals of on day two of the 2012 SCAC Baseball Championship tournament. Official Championships Website
GAME SEVEN RECAP
Birmingham-Southern, the East's top seed, advanced to its first ever Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference championship game with a 5-3 win over the top seed from the West, Trinity University, on Saturday afternoon in the semifinals at historic USA Stadium. Box Score
The ninth-ranked Panthers (34-7) jumped out of the gates quickly as they put up three early runs on Trinity starting pitcher Tanner Barron in the top of the first. After Bruce Maxwell roped an RBI double, teammate Jon Walker then connected on a two run homerun to highlight the first inning.
Trinity responded in the bottom of the first as the Tigers plated a run of their own. After Dominick Robusto advanced to third on a wild pitch, he was driven in by Christian Muscarell's infield single.
The sore remained 3-1 until the Tigers tied the game with two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Pat Hirschberg led off with a double down the left field line and then scored on Kevin Francke's RBI double in the next at bat. The Tigers then tied the game on Robusto's sacrifice fly to right field.
Birmingham-Southern, however, responded quickly as the Panthers took the lead for good in the top of the sixth. With two outs in the inning, the Panthers had runners on first and second and scored the go ahead run on a dropped fly ball by Trinity second baseman Kevin Clements.
Trinity (34-9) had a chance to tie the game at 4-4 in the bottom of the eighth. The Tigers put runners on first and second with two outs but could not quite get the tying run across the plate as Clements popped out to second base to end the threat.
Birmingham-Southern then added an insurance run in the top of the ninth to provide the winning margin. With the win, the Panthers ended Trinity's 10 game SCAC tournament winning streak and advanced to the program's first ever SCAC championship game appearance.
Ralls Pennington (3-0) earned the win in relief of Panther starting pitcher Paul Caudill. Pennington threw three innings while scattering two hits and struck out one. Caudill went four innings and struck out one while yielding three runs on six hits. Blake Yance earned the save with two nearly perfect innings.
Trinity's Barron took the loss to drop to 3-1 after he pitched six innings and gave up four runs (three earned). He struck out six and scattered five hits.
Birmingham-Southern was led by Walker who finished the game 2 for 5 with three RBI, a homerun and a double. Walker also scored a run. Maxwell, the SCAC's Player of the Year, finished the game with 3 for 4 with two runs scored and an RBI.
Trinity was paced offensively by Ryan Schweers and Muscarello who each collected two hits.
Trinity will player later this evening at 7 p.m. CT and will
take on the winner of this afternoon's Rhodes vs. Millsaps game.
Birmingham-Southern will then take on either Millsaps, Rhodes or
Trinity in the SCAC Championship game tomorrow at Noon CT.
GAME EIGHT RECAP
Millsaps jumped out to an 8-0 lead and did not look back as the Majors survived another elimination game and beat Rhodes, 11-4 in game eight of the 2012 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Baseball Championship tournament. Box Score
The Majors (27-15) scored six of their 11 runs in the third and fourth to help build the 8-0 lead before Rhodes stormed back to cut the Millsaps lead in half in the sixth.
After Rhodes (27-15) made it 8-4, Millsaps pushed across three more runs to provide the winning margin.
Stephen Gates and Samuel Doucet each drove in two runs for the Majors on the afternoon. Gates finished the game 2 for 5 with two runs scored. Doucet was 1 for 3 with a run scored and a walk.
Millsaps starter Keith Shumaker earned the win after pitching six innings while yielding just four runs (two earned) and scattered four hits. He improved to 3-1 on the season.
Rhodes starting pitcher Matt Burnick took the loss. Burnick threw 2.2 innings and allowed four runs (two earned) while allowing six hits and tallied a strikeout.
Millsaps will play Trinity at 7 p.m. CT for a berth in the SCAC Championship game against Birmingham-Southern tomorrow. The Millsaps/Trinity winner will have to beat Birmingham-Southern twice tomorrow to claim the conference championship and the league's automatic bid to the 2012 NCAA Division III Baseball Championship.
GAME NINE RECAP
Millsaps jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead after two innings and that was all the Majors needed in eliminating defending Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference champion Trinity, 13-3, in game nine of the SCAC tournament. Box Score
With the win the Majors advance to the SCAC championship game for the first time since the 2008 season and will look for the school's first SCAC title since 2006 when they were co-champions with Trinity.
Millsaps (28-15) added six runs in the bottom of the fifth to go up 12-0 before finally beating Trinity 13-3 in seven innings. Millsaps starter Ryan Zemke earned the win after throwing six innings while allowing just one unearned run and scattered seven hits. It marked Zemke's first win of the season.
Trinity starter Nicholas Griffith suffered the loss as he lasted just two innings. He gave up six runs, only one of which was earned, and yielded five hits and struck out one.
Millsaps was paced at the plate by Stephen Gates who finished 2 for 3 with three RBI. Gates was one of five Majors who tallied a multi-hit game on the evening.
Trinity (34-10) was led by Dominick Robusto who was the only Tiger to tally a multi-hit performance. The designated hitter went 2 for 3 with a walk. Nick Pappas was 1 for 3 with two runs driven in.
Millsaps advances to the SCAC championship game where the Majors will meet the East Division's top see, Birmingham-Southern. The Majors must beat Birmingham-Southern twice while the Panthers need just one win for the SCAC title and the league's automatic bid to the 2012 NCAA Division III Baseball Championship.