Majors Destroy Rhodes, No. 8 Trinity to Advance to Championship Game
MILLINGTON, Tenn. – The Millsaps Majors Baseball Team knew coming into Saturday's game that if they wanted to win a SCAC Championship, they could not lose again. Their bats came awake on this day as they came away with 24 totals run on 25 total as they routed the No. 2 seed in the East Rhodes 11-4 and turning around to do the same to Trinity, 13-3 in seven. Millsaps goes on to face Birmingham-Southern tomorrow at 12 p.m., needing to win two.
After 1.5 scoreless inning, Millsaps got the scoring started in the bottom of the second as senior Jules Roussel led the inning off with a stand up triple down the right field line. Junior Jerrod Myers stepped to the plate and singled up the middle to give the Majors a 1-0 lead.
Things got better for Millsaps in the third as junior Stephen Gates led things off with a double followed by a single by senior Ryan Zemke. Shortly after, junior Wes Perkins singled to score a run and junior Jules Roussel reached on an error to score a run and make it a 3-0 game. After two outs and a hit by pitch, senior Drew Leonard became the second straight batter to be hit by pitch, this time with the bases loaded to give Millsaps a 4-0 lead.
Millsaps continued to add runs as they got three more in the fourth with two outs as senior Andrew Evans singled to right to score one and freshman Samuel Doucet singled up the middle to add two more runs to the board and make it a 7-0 game.
The Majors picked up one more in the fifth with Zemke on first. With two outs, it seemed the inning was over, but Rhodes made an error and Zemke moved to third. As the Lynx nonchalantly got the ball back in, Zemke never slowed up and motored around third as the Lynx finally realized and fired home too late to make it an 8-0 game.
All this time, freshman Keith Shumaker was cruising, making his best start of his young career. Rhodes picked up four in the sixth, but Millsaps added three back in the sixth thanks to a RBI from freshman Kevin Wall and two RBIs from Gates to push their lead to 11-4.
Senior Alex Granier finished the game off, pitching the final three innings without giving up a run as the Majors advanced to the nightcap against Trinity, a team that knocked off Millsaps two days earlier in the opening game.
Shumaker earned the win against Rhodes, pitching six complete while allowing two earned runs (four total) off four hits and striking out one. Granier only allowed two hits in his outing.
Every Major in the starting lineup had a hit and seven of the nine Majors had a RBI. Roussel led the attack, going 3-for-5 with a run scored while Zemke added a 2-for-4 game with two runs scored and Gates was 2-for-5 with two RBIs. Doucet also added two RBIs on the afternoon.
Zemke picked up the start in the nightcap and immediately got into some trouble as the Tigers had first and third with no outs. The senior came through though, getting two straight pop ups to short and lineout to second to end the inning unharmed.
Millspas got things going in the second as Myers led the inning off with a single and Evans put down a sac bunt that turned into a fielder's choice as Trinity's pitcher tried to get Myers out at second and was unsuccessful. Doucet then put down a sac bunt and this an error was committed on the pitcher's throw to score the first run of the game.
After a wild pitch, Leonard singled to right to make it a 2-0 game. After a walk to Wall, Trinity committed its second error of the inning to drive in two more runs and make it a 4-0 game. Perkins then reached on a fielder's choice to score one and Myers came up and singled for the second time to score a run and give Millsaps a 6-0 lead after two.
Zemke continued to make quality pitches when needed the most as he frustrated the Tigers throughout the evening.
The Majors blew the game wide open in the fifth as Perkins and Roussel led the inning off with back-to-back singles. After a sacrifice bunt by Myers, Evans came to the plate and laced a single up the middle to score two.
After Doucet was hit by a pitch and Leonard singled on a bunt, Wall walked to score a run and Gates put the dagger in the game with a two RBI double down the left field line to put Millsaps up 11-0. A sacrifice fly from Zemke made it a 12-0 game as the Majors were dominating the No. 8 team in the nation.
The two exchanged runs in the sixth as Doucet hit a sacrifice fly and Trinity got two in the seventh, but it was not enough to avoid elimination as Millsaps placed itself in the Championship Game on Sunday with the win.
Zemke gets his first win of the season, going six complete and not giving up an earned run (one run total). Granier came on in the end and finished the game off with a double play.
Gates finished the evening 2-for-4 with three RBIs while Evans added a 2-for-3 day with two RBIs and two runs scored. Roussel, Myers, and Leonard each had two hits on the evening.
The Majors will take on Birmingham-Southern tomorrow afternoon at 12 p.m. They must win two games tomorrow to win the championship while the Panthers only have to win once. This feat has been completed two times in SCAC history, both happening in the 90s and done once by Millsaps in 1992. The game will be live at ihigh.com/millsapsmajors.