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Birmingham-Southern baseball team’s ‘Cinderella’ DIII World Series ends in heartbreak days after university closes for good

Sue Ogrocki/AP

Birmingham-Southern first baseman Jackson Webster pictured during batting practice earlier this week.



CNN

Just days after school closed its doors for good, the Birmingham-Southern College baseball team closed the door on its heartbreaking, made-for-movie playoff series, losing on a ninth-inning home run at Division III College World. Series.

Wisconsin-Whitewater’s Sam Paden played the role of villain, hitting a game-winning solo home run in Eastlake, Ohio, on Sunday to help the Warhawks win 11-10 and advance to the next round.

The Panthers’ loss marked the team’s elimination from the tournament and the final chapter of the closed program.

The team’s head coach, Jan Weisberg, addressed the players on the field and the team then received a standing ovation from the fans as they left the field.

Birmingham-Southern was a private liberal arts school, located in Birmingham, Alabama, that opened in 1856. In March, the school announced its closure and the baseball team embarked on a miraculous run to graduate a place at DIII College. World Series with the help of a GoFundMe campaign.

Although the school closed its doors Friday due to financial difficulties, the Panthers beat Randolph-Macon 9-7 Saturday with a home run in Eastlake, Ohio, to stay alive in the annual college baseball tournament. NCAA.

They completed their victory in spectacular fashion when, with the score tied 7-7 in the bottom of the ninth inning, first baseman Jackson Webster hit a two-run home run to continue the “Cinderella story” from school.

This sparked wild scenes in the crowd and at watch parties in Birmingham as Webster was mobbed by his teammates all waiting for him at home plate.

“A baseball miracle, right? Webster said, according to the NCAA. “The storybook is not finished. It’s a tough pill to swallow. We have nothing to come back from, so we take the field like we have nothing to lose. And a team with nothing to lose is a tough team to beat.

The Panthers took a 4-0 lead late in the third, but faltered midway through the inning after a series of errors and trailed 7-4 in the eighth. After losing their opening game on Friday, they needed to win this one to stay in the tournament and even their head coach had doubts in his mind.

“You just had a feeling that this was how it was going to end,” Weisberg said afterward, according to the NCAA. “What this team went through in particular… with everything we had in mind, we had to think about it.

“I admit it happened to me for a brief second between innings. I started thinking about what I’m going to say, am I going to keep it together? And I just told myself to stop, stop.

Sue Ogrocki/AP

Birmingham-Southern third baseman Mitch Austin fields a fly ball during practice earlier this week.

Then, their three pinch hitters delivered at the plate in the ninth inning, giving Webster the opportunity to seal the victory, although on his first swing he timed his effort so badly that he tapped the chest to apologize. However, he connected on the third pitch and sent it over the left field wall for a famous victory.

Along with the GoFundMe page, Topps announced earlier this week that it was producing trading cards featuring the Birmingham-Southern baseball team, with a portion of the proceeds going to the program. Topps also said it would give away cards to “distribute to players, friends and family.”

CNN’s Steve Almasy contributed to this report.

News Source : amp.cnn.com
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