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Fairhope alum Ben Hoover enjoying ‘rare moment’ with Birmingham-Southern baseball

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WKRG) — One of the best stories in baseball this postseason has been Birmingham-Southern College.

Due to financial struggles, the school is set to close their doors for good on Friday, May 31st, which happens to be the same day the Panther’s baseball team will play in the D-III College World Series.

The team has garnered national attention after entering the tournament with an at-large bid then winning a regional and super regional crown.

Fairhope alum Ben Hoover is a pitcher for the Panthers. The junior right-hander says he’s grateful to be a part of the historic run.

“It’s a blessing, man. It’s been nothing short of an excellent opportunity,” Hoover said Monday at practice in Birmingham. “Even talking about it, if I could go back in time knowing that all this would happen, I would still go through with it. That’s how good it’s been to me.”

Hoover graduated from Fairhope in 2021, he was a standout dual-sport, student-athlete for the Pirates — earning three varsity letters in football and four in baseball. Hoover helped the Panthers to a fourth-straight SAA tournament title last year. Birmingham-Southern College opened in 1858.

“It’s been a lot of fun to play in my home state and represent all the great people around me,” Hoover said. “It’s kind of a rare moment where we have such a tight knit group that’s going for one thing. There’s no stress for grades, there’s no stress about building the program for next year. It’s just what we have here and what we have now. And I think it’s been great.”

Birmingham-Southern will begin CWS play on Friday in Eastlake, Ohio near Cleveland. The Panthers open with Salve Regina at 3:45 CT.

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