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Thursday, Oct 28, 2021

After impressive opening, baseball ranked 15th in Mid-Major Poll

The Mercer baseball team is turning heads as they beat Ohio State, St. Johns and Notre Dame en route to winning the Snowbird Baseball Classic.
In the first game against Ohio State, the Buckeyes took the early lead on an RBI groundout in the first inning to go ahead 1-0.
Ohio State was able to tack on another run in the second inning up to 2-0.
After multiple failed attempts to take advantage of runners on base, the Bears finally got the clutch hit they needed in the top of the sixth inning against Ohio State starter Jaron Long.
 With the bases loaded and two outs, junior Austin Barrett pulled a clutch two-RBI single through the left side of the infield to tie things up at 2-2.
In the bottom of the sixth, Ohio State reclaimed the lead as they scored three runs to extend their lead to 5-2.
Mercer had a golden opportunity with the bases loaded and only one out, but could only push one run across on a walk by junior Nick Backlund to make the score 5-3 in the top of the seventh.
The score remained 5-3 as the game moved into the top of the ninth inning and sophomore Chesny Young single-handedly made sure the Bears didn’t waste any more scoring chances. With runners on first and second, the Atlanta, Ga. product ripped a double to left to score two and tie the game at 5-5.
Mercer’s Michael Massi scored a run in the 10th inning to give Mercer the 6-5 lead. The score would stand and Mercer would improve to 1-0 on the young season.
In the Bears’ second contest of the Snowbird Baseball Classic, Mercer broke out the bats to propel them to an impressive 13-5 victory over St. John’s.
St. John’s took the early lead in the top of the second inning with a run to go ahead of the Bears 1-0.
Mercer swung for the fences in the bottom of the third inning. Junior transfer Michael Massi led off with a solo homerun. Senior Evan Boyd followed a few batters with a three-run hit so the Bears would take the 4-1 lead.
In the fourth inning, the Bears knocked in seven runners to take the 11-1 lead. Sophomore Chesny Young hit a two-run single while junior Derrick Workman hit a two-run homerun.
That was all starting pitcher Brandon Barker needed to earn the win as he only allowed one run on four hits in five innings played.
After the impressive win against St. Johns, the Bears turned their sights to Big East powerhouse Notre Dame.
The Fighting Irish took the early lead with an RBI single up the middle in the first inning.
Mercer was able to respond in the third inning as junior Nate Moorhouse started things off with a single homerun. Later in the inning, Chesny Young hit an RBI triple and senior Evan Boyd hit an RBI groundout to put the Bears ahead 3-1.
The Fighting Irish earned a run in the bottom of that inning to make the score closer at 3-2.
Both teams went scoreless for a few innings until Derrick Workman was able to hit an RBI single and a passed ball allowed Michael Massi to head home, moving the lead to 5-2.
With the score at 5-2, Notre Dame was able to earn two more runs to come within striking distance with a 5-4 score.
Sophomore Dimitris Kourtis would do the rest pitching 2.2 innings to close out the game, giving the Bears their third victory of the season.
The Bears are now 3-0 on the young season. The team will travel next to Alabama State on Feb. 19 to take on the Hornets. Game time is scheduled for 6 p.m. After the tilt against Alabama State, Mercer returns home to take on Bethune-Cookman for a weekend series on Feb. 22-24. After playing Bethune-Cookman, the Bears will have a home mid-week tilt against Florida A&M on Feb. 26 and 27. Later that week, the Bears will be at home once more before heading on the road as they take on Miami (Ohio) on March 1-2.


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