MILLINGTON, Tenn. - The University of Dallas baseball team (23-16) faces a win-or-go-home scenario after Birmingham-Southern College bested the Crusaders, 6-4, Thursday evening in each squads' opening game of the 2012 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship Tournament.
Dallas as visiting team set an aggressive tone, early, versus the No. 1 SCAC East Division seeded Panthers (32-7).
6-foot-1 senior left fielder Devin Arnold (McKinney, Texas/McKinney H.S.) tallied a lead-off double to right field. The subsquent batter, 6-foot senior center fielder Brian Shelburne (Portsmouth, R.I./Portsmouth H.S.) was hit by a Blake Stevens (6-2) pitch.
Arnold and Shelburne proceeded to double-steal twice in the inning, with Arnold successfully stealing home for the contest's first run. 5-foot-10 junior designated hitter Nico Caluda (New Orleans, La./Jesuit H.S.) knocked in Shelburne, giving Dallas a 2-0 advantage after the top-of-the-first.
Head Coach Fraser Holmes gave 6-foot-2 senior right-handed pitcher Michael Schweiss (Parker, Colo./Chaparral H.S.) the starting nod. In the bottom-of-the-first, Schweiss (3-5) saw Birmingham-Southern match his team's two-run output, despite not giving up any hits. The Crusaders committed two costly errors in the inning.
Dealt the loss in four innings of work, Schweiss allowed six runs (four earned) on seven hits and four walks, while striking out four. 6-foot-2 Junior southpaw Chris Schierhorn (Anchorage, Alaska/South Anchorage H.S.) thwarted the Panther offensive attack over the game's final four frames, wherein he surrendered just two hits, while striking out one.
6-foot sophomore right fielder Alex Thornton (Fort Worth, Texas/Arlington Heights H.S.) tied for a game-high three hits, but it was for not with Birmingham-Southern scoring two runs in each the first, third and fourth innings en route to a 6-4 victory.
In an SCAC West Division showdown, No. 3 seed Dallas will face No. 1 seed Trinity University in a 3:30 p.m. first pitch at USA Stadium. Live stats and video will be provided. Click here for complete details of the 2012 SCAC Baseball Championship.