Ryan Gaines pitched seven effective innings and Preston White drove in a pair of runs as nationally ranked Birmingham-Southern College defeated the UW-Oshkosh baseball team, 6-3, in the first meeting between the teams on Saturday (March 4) in Birmingham, Ala.
Birmingham-Southern College (10-3), ranked third in the NCAA Division III by D3baseball.com, never trailed after scoring two runs in the bottom of the first inning.
UW-Oshkosh (1-1) tied the score at 3 with a two-run fifth inning, but the Panthers scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch in the sixth inning before adding one more run in the sixth frame and one in the seventh.
The Titans brought the potential tying run to the plate with one out in the ninth inning, but White induced a pair of groundouts to preserve the win.
UW-Oshkosh outhit Birmingham-Southern College, 12-9, and both team left 10 runners on base. Each of the Panthers' hits were singles, while the Titans had two extra-base hits. The Titans also committed just one error, and the Panthers had three miscues.
Gaines (4-0), a D3baseball.com All-America second team selection a year ago, earned the victory on the mound for the Birmingham-Southern College after allowing three runs (two earned) and scattering 10 hits in seven innings. He recorded five strikeouts and issued one walk.
White went 2-for-3 with two runs batted in at the plate and notched his second save of the season by pitching a scoreless ninth inning.
Birmingham-Southern College's Jack Rhodes and David Scott both added two hits in five at-bats.
Titans starting pitcher Brendan Meissner (0-1) was charged with the loss, yielding five runs on six hits in five innings. He struck out six and walked four.
Birmingham-Southern College struck for two runs in the first inning after loading the bases on a pair of singles and a walk to begin the game. The Panthers scored the first run of the game on a groundout and took a 2-0 lead on sacrifice fly by White.
The Titans answered with a run-scoring double from Jensen Hinton in the top of the second inning, and the Panthers increased their lead to 3-1 on a two-out single by White that plated Rhodes.
UW-Oshkosh knotted the score at 3 with a two-out rally in the fifth frame. After Gaines got the first two Titan batters to fly out to begin the inning, Schwenn singled and scored on a triple by Johnny Eagan. Reckert then drove home Eagan with a single before Gaines stranded a pair of runners in scoring position by getting Noah Polcyn to fly out.
Meissner walked Panthers pinch-hitter Rich Misischia to open the decisive sixth inning. Birmingham-Southern College's Jacob Drescher followed with a single and stole second base to put two Panthers in scoring position. Meissner uncorked a wild pitch that allowed the eventual winning run to score and concluded his outing after walking A.J. Hunt.
Chris Atwood entered from the UW-Oshkosh bullpen a gave up a run-scoring single to the first Panther he faced, pinch-hitter Wallace Schmuck. However, Atwood limited the damage by getting three straight outs and leaving the bases loaded.
The Panthers loaded the bases with no outs again in the seventh inning, but Titans pitcher Jack Tierney relieved Atwood and held Birmingham-Southern College to one run in the frame on a sacrifice fly by Hunt for the first out.
Misischia retired the Titans in order after relieving Gaines to begin the eighth inning, and UW-Oshkosh's Lucas Gregory pitched a perfect home half of the frame.
UW-Oshkosh's Jack Paulson singled off of White with one out in the ninth inning and went to second base on a single by Schwenn. Both Titans moved up a base on a passed ball, but White got Eagan out on a grounder to the pitcher's mound, and Reckert grounded out to conclude the contest.
UW-Oshkosh concludes its trip to Alabama when it plays Transylvania University (Ky.) on Sunday (March 5).
Photo by Jennifer Zuberbier