JACKSON- Keith Shumaker tossed seven shutout innings and the Millsaps Majors knocked off the Birmingham Southern Panthers 5-3 to win the Southern Athletic Association title series two games to none.
The win secures a sweep of the regular season and tournament for the Majors, who at 34-11 now wait for their name to be called on Sunday at the NCAA baseball selection show.
The Majors took advantage of some miscues by the Panthers in the first inning to grab a 2-0 lead. Stephen Gates reached on a hit by pitch, advanced on a wild pitch and scored on a Wes Perkins groundout. A second run came into score off a wild throw from a Samuel Doucet single.
Gates drove in another run in the second, laying down a bunt that scored William Chenoweth. The Panthers' pitching staff would quiet the Majors bats from their until the 8th inning. In the 8th, Gates doubled home Shumaker again to make it 4-0 and Kevin Wall scored on a wild pitch in the ninth to make it 5-0.
That was more than enough support for Keith Shumaker who went the first seven innings, throwing five-hit shutout baseball. He walked nobody while striking out three to get the win and mvoe to 6-0.
The Panthers would not go quietly in this contest. They scored three in the ninth off Will Elmore and Harper Grier. Taylor McCracken and Stephen Denton each had a pair of hits in the loss for the Panthers to lead the offense.
BSC ends the regular season at 29-15 and hopes for their name to be called on Sunday as well. The Majors at 34-11 do not get an auto-bid from winning a conference tournament. The SAA is on a two-year probationary period before an auto-bid is awarded.
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