Emory Baseball’s Season Ends with 6-1 Loss to #7 Birmingham So.
The Emory University baseball team dropped a 6-1 decision to seventh-ranked Birmingham-Southern College in the second game of the NCAA Division III Baseball Championships on Thursday, eliminating the Eagles from the tournament and ending their 2012 campaign.
After dropping a 2-0 game to DePauw in the tournament's opening contest, the Eagles were forced to play the Central Regional's top seed in a do-or-die situation.
The game was scoreless until the top of the third inning, when the Panthers broke through with a two-out RBI single from Jon Walker, followed by an RBI triple from Austin Justice. Birmingham Southern added on three more runs in the top of the fifth, chasing starter Ben Hinojosa from the game.
Emory brought in closer Mike Bitanga with no outs and the bases loaded in the fifth, allowing one inherited runner to score, but stranding another runner on third, and limiting the Panthers' advantage to 5-0 after four and a half innings. Bitanga would go on to pitch five innings in the game, allowing just one unearned run in the top of the eighth inning on two hits and a hit batter, striking out one batter.
The Eagles would finally score their first run of the regionals in the ninth inning of the game, as Jared Welch scored on a throwing error by the Birmingham-Southern pitcher, Jesse Meier. However, he would get the final two outs of the inning to earn the complete game victory, improving to 6-1 on the season.
Meier allowed just the one unearned run on five hits and three walks, striking out six during the 125 pitch effort.
Hinojosa took the loss for Emory, dropping to 5-4 on the year.
The game also marked the final one in the career of the seven Emory seniors – Connor McGuiness, Kevin O'Connor, Ryan Orlovsky, Jay Page, Maxim Sankey, Paul Schwendel, and Jonathan Sholar.
Birmingham-Southern improved to 37-7 on the year, while the Eagles finished the year with an overall record of 26-14.