Paul Caudill silenced Pacific Lutheran’s bats as the second-seeded Lutes fell, 7-1, to third-seeded Birmingham-Southern at Loudermilk Field in the South Regional of the NCAA Division III Championships South Regional in Demorest, Georgia on Friday.
Caudill (6-0) only allowed four hits, one earned run and no walks while striking out six through eight innings as the Panthers (37-11-1) got their revenge after the Lutes (32-13) beat them 7-2 on Thursday.
PLU can still advance past the regional round thanks to the double-elimination format of the tournament, but would have to defeat fifth-seeded Emory Saturday at 9 a.m. (PDT) in order to earn the right to replay Birmingham-Southern at 12:30 p.m. (PDT) for the regional championship.
Lutes starter Cory Nelson (5-3) struggled on the mound allowing 14 hits, six runs — four of them earned) and two walks while striking out four through 71/3 innings.
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The Panthers scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the third inning after Jacob Mayfield singled up the middle to drive in Brandon Marino.
PLU answered in the fourth beginning with Collin Nilson’s leadoff double to right center. Tyler Thompson, who went 2 for 4 with a double on the day, singled into left advancing Nilson to third base. Ben Welch hit into a fielder’s choice with Tyler getting thrown out at second, but allowing Nilson to score.
That would be the only run scored by the Lutes offense in the game.