Mercer baseball comes out on top after battle against Georgia Southern

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Mercer baseball comes out on top after battle against Georgia Southern

JT Thomas at bat.

JT Thomas at bat.

Marianna Bacallao

JT Thomas at bat.

Marianna Bacallao

Marianna Bacallao

JT Thomas at bat.

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It has been a long time since Mercer baseball has bested Georgia Southern, three years to be in fact. However, after an up and down bout that had the Bears playing to the best of their abilities, they finished the game 11-8.

Early on, the game didn’t look too promising for the Bears, but they were able to pull themselves together each time they fell into a deficit.

“I always tell our guys you’re not a really good team till you come from behind,” Head Coach Craig Gibson said after the game. “We didn’t want to get behind but we were able to get us going in the fourth inning.”

When the two teams met up last year Mercer lost in back to back games at home and away.

The game started evenly paced. The score was tied 1-1 by the top of the third and neither team seemed to show an advantage

By the bottom of the third inning, things looked like they were turning for the worst for the Bears. Georgia Southern  second baseman Steven Curry hit a three run homer that put the Eagles over the Bears, 1-4.

Mercer was not out of the game yet. Going in 5-1 at the top of the fifth, Mercer kicked things into gear. Left fielder David Posas hit an RBI double out to bring the score to 5-2. JT Thomas got on base after being walked.

With two runners on base, right fielder Trey Truitt took full advantage of his opportunity at the plate, hitting a three run homer to tie up the game.

This inning kept Mercer in the game; however, Georgia Southern had far from conceded. The Eagles scored two more runs in the sixth inning while Mercer scored one to bring the score to 6-7.

In the top of the eighth inning, Georgia Southern scored another run when third baseman Jeddediah Fagg hit an RBI single to left field. Going into the bottom of the eighth, Georgia Southern only had a two run buffer to work with that Mercer evaporated.

Through a combination of struggling pitching from the Eagles and smart base running by Mercer, the Bears were able to score five runs in the bottom of the eighth to secure a three run lead going into the ninth.

One notable part of the game was the large number of relief pitchers Georgia Southern brought in throughout the game, five after starting pitcher Cole Whitney came out the game.

“At the end I think the difference was our pitching was a little bit better than theirs,” Gibson said. “They have conference this weekend so they were trying to keep everybody sharp. Those same guys were good against us last year, it was just our night on our field.”

Truitt stood out this game, producing two runs, two hits and three RBIs out of his five at bats.

“Usually I lead off so it was different having people on for me tonight,” Truitt said about finding himself in a position to score runners.

Truitt said despite the change he focused on staying within himself and keeping the approach he always has.

Due to complications stemming from a concussion he suffered toward the end of his sophomore season, Truitt struggled last year to keep his stats up, but has already shown a great improvement this year, keeping a .381 batting average so far this season with 24 hits and 10 RBIs.

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