HomeSportsBirmingham-Southern's season ends with a walk-off homer by UW-Whitewater during the DIII...

Birmingham-Southern’s season ends with a walk-off homer by UW-Whitewater during the DIII College World Series

The Birmingham-Southern baseball team advanced to the Division III College World Series, while the small college in Alabama closed on May 31. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Storybook season is over for Birmingham-Southern College. Now the program is also ready.

Sam Paden hit a home run – his second of the game – in the bottom of the ninth to give Wisconsin-Whitewater an 11-10 victory in an elimination game in the Division III College World Series. The Warhawks will play Salve Regina on Monday for a chance to reach the semifinals of the tournament.

Birmingham-Southern became a national curiosity when the baseball team advanced to the DIII World Series and outlived the life of its current institution. The private liberal arts college in Birmingham, Alabama, with an enrollment of 1,300 students, closed on May 31, the same day the Panthers opened tournament play, due to financial problems.

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UW-Whitewater opened the scoring in the second inning when their outfielders tackled Panthers starting pitcher Carter Tyus. Paden and Dominik McVay hit back-to-back home runs, each with a 3-1 count before going deep. The Warhawks added another run on an RBI single by Matt Scolan to build a 3–0 lead.

McVay followed with an excellent catch in the third, diving into the warning track in left-center field to rob Ty Truett of an extra-base hit in the opening round. However, Birmingham-Southern came right back with a two-run shot from Eli Steadman over Jack Hagen to make it a 3-2 game.

In the fourth, Jackson Webster led off with a homerun to tie the score. That was the start of BSC jumping Hagen with an Ian Hancock double, Charlie Banks triple and Jakob Zito single, resulting in two more runs and a 5-3 lead.

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Still, the Warhawks struck back in right and tied the score on a two-run homer by Scolan. And what turned into an elimination game into a brawl was underway.

Birmingham-Southern exploded for four runs in the fifth inning, starting with a catcher’s interference call, three consecutive singles and a hit-by-pitcher. He chased reliever Cade Hansen, but Max Huseboe came in and allowed an RBI single to Zito.

The Panthers scored another run in the sixth for a 10-5 lead, but UW-Whitewater scored runs in the seventh and eighth – both fueled by hits from Scolan – to erase the deficit.

That caused first baseman Eli Frank to launch a two-run homer off Hansen McCown to tie the score at 10-10. The Warhawks threatened to take the lead, followed by two consecutive singles. Andy Thies hit a deep drive to left center, but Steadman caught the ball on the warning track to end the inning.

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