BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The NCAA Birmingham Regional has come down to a winner-take-all Game 5 after LaGrange and Birmingham-Southern split two games Saturday at Striplin Field. The two teams square off Sunday at 2 p.m. EDT with the winner advancing to next week's Super Regional. LaGrange (32-11) won the first game 6-4, then Birmingham-Southern took the second game 8-5.
The Panthers jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third only to have Birmingham-Southern answer with four runs in the bottom of the inning. LC came back with two runs in the fifth to take the lead for good and added an insurance in the sixth inning. Richie Post pitched into the sixth inning. The host Panthers loaded the bases with two outs. Spencer Douches relieved Post and got the final out of the inning to end the threat. In the ninth, BSC got back-to-back base hits with one out. Douches came back with a strikeout and a groundout to end the game, recording his fourth save of the season. The Panthers had 12 hits in the game with Jack Layrisson and Rhett Hollon each having three. Layrisson added two RBIs. Judd Moore and Austin McDade each had a double.
Birmingham-Southern broke a 5-5 tie with three runs in the top of the ninth inning to force Game 5. Tanner Chafin (3-2) took the loss. J.R. Robinson started and went 7-2/3 innings, giving up five runs but only two were earned. The Panthers trailed 5-1 before rallying to tie the game with a four-run sixth inning. Trey Pearce's two-run double drew LC within a run and Braden Shealy followed with a game-tying double. Pearce and Layrisson each had two hits in the game as LC finished with seven hits.