Baseball demolishing competition, wins series against Belmont, FGCU

(photo courtesy of While the offensive numbers have been off of the charts, the consisent pitching has helped propel Mercer to a fast start.

(Alex Lockwood / Cluster Staff) While the offensive numbers have been off of the charts, the consisent pitching has helped propel Mercer to a fast start.

In another bid to secure an NCAA tournament berth, the baseball team has remained hot, notching a six game win streak over spring break week including blowouts over Alabama State and FAMU.  Taking two of three against their first conference opponents, Belmont and FGCU, Mercer appears to once again be the class of the Atlantic Sun.


Mercer 19, FAMU 6

The Bears jumped the Rattlers for ten runs in the first three innings, quickly putting away their Tallahassee opponents in their home opener.  DH Joe Winker (3-3, HR, 4 RBI) had another huge night at the plate for Mercer as newcomer Bronson Gagner won his first game as a Bear in the non-conference contest.


Mercer 5, FAMU 1

In the second game of the double header, Mercer sneaked across a combined five runs in the fifth and sixth inning to win the seven-inning contest.  Russell Moses’ strong pitcher performance (7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 13 Ks) limited the Rattlers with few base runners to help the Bears notch another win. Winker (2 RBI), Evan Boyd and Jason Butts would all collect hits to bat runners in to complete the sweep.


“I thought it was a great team effort by our guys tonight in that they played hard and rebounded well from last night,” said head coach Craig Gibson following the series.  “Tonight was FAMU’s home opener and their guys were really into it so it feels good to get two wins against a good club on the road,” he added.


Mercer 8, Ala. State 0

Mercer’s Matt McCall was dominating from the mound, allowing only one hit on 92 pitches in his shutout of the season. Reliever J.T. Odom would get the final three outs in the ninth for a save.  Delayed by rain, the Bears’ offense didn’t come alive until late when Evan Boyd started the scoring with a huge triple in the fifth inning. Joe Winker would blast off another home run in the sixth to seal the game.


Mercer 9, Ala. State 1

Pitching again proved crucial against Alabama State as Brandon Love threw six innings of shutout baseball.  The offense, potent as ever, would start when Billy Burns would single, advance on a wild pitch, steal third, and then take home on another wild pitch.  It was that kind of night for the visitors as Derrick Workman and Travis Benn would collect homeruns before the contest finished.


Mercer 18, Ala. State 2

Playing their 10th game in ten days, the Bears once again exploded on offense, collecting a multitude of runs on the Sunday afternoon game. Justice French picked up the win from the pitching mound, but the player of the game went to senior rightfielder Thomas Carroll (4-6, 3B, HR, 6 RBI) as he had a career day falling one double short of a cycle.


Mercer 24, FAMU 1

Ouch! This had the makings of a blowout from the beginning as Mercer scored their highest total since a 27-1 beat down of Savannah State in 2008.  To make matters worse, the game lasted only seven innings. For the final tally, Mercer collected 21 hits in which every starter had at least one hit.  Jacob Tanis (3-5, 2 2B, HR, 7 RBI) and Thomas Carroll (4-4, HR, 4 RBI) carried the offense once again as freshman Brandon Barker collected his first collegiate win.


Belmont 2, Mercer 1

All good things must to an end and they did so for Mercer against the Bruins in Nashville. Despite the offense outbreak against FAMU, Belmont played the Bears well and despite a strong performance from Matt McCall, MU could only muster one run of offense on eight hits.


Mercer 9, Belmont 0

Pitching was key in a Sunday afternoon rout of the Bruins at Shelby Park. MU’s Brandon Love and Belmont pitcher Nate Woods dueled until the fourth when Thomas Carroll, Joe Winker, and Derrick Workman would all hit homeruns off of Woods to give the Bears a 4-0 lead. Another homerun via Jacob Tanis and a few hits in the late innings would increase Mercer’s lead to end the contest.


Mercer 6, Belmont 2

Errors and trouble on the pitching mound doomed the Bruins in the nightcap of the Sunday series, sending several unearned runs across the plate to give Mercer their second conference win of the season.  Justice French would allow only two earned runs and six hits in a bid to pick up another 2011 win as Jacob Tanis (4-6, 5 RBI) would push through most of the runs for the orange and black.


Georgia 8, Mercer 6

It came down to the late out and the Bears fell just short. Looking to upend Georgia for the first time since 1992, Mercer’s comeback landed the team close to the upset, but came short when Derrick Workman struck out looking with bases loaded to end the game. Georgia got off to a hot start when Russell Moses gave up four runs in the second inning, but Joe Winker’s homerun in the sixth, his seventh of the season, cut the lead to two runs to lead to the late game theatrics.


Mercer 15, FGCU 6

A combined 12 runs in the fifth and sixth frame helped sophomore David Teasley pick up his third win of the season in an important game against their A-Sun rivals. Six players in the lineup recorded multi-hit efforts including Derrick Workman (2-5, HR, 3 RBI).


Mercer 9, FGCU 3

A six run first inning was all that was necessary in defeating the Eagles again, a feat which snapped FGCU’s 17 straight series victories in the A-Sun since the 2009 season. FGCU’s Brandon Bixler was yanked from the game after the first inning, a disastrous one for the Fort Meyers club. Middle reliever Jacob Matthews would pick up the win with two innings of relief.


FGCU 6, Mercer 3

The 16-inning spectacle came to an end when the Eagles sneaked across three runs to finish a very long contest on Sunday. Salvaging one game in the series, Mercer came close to wrapping up another win, but FGCU fought back in the eighth with three unanswered runs to tie the game. The four hour, 31 minute contest ended when relievers Colby Collins and Chris Newell surrendered the winning runs.


Mercer 14, Harvard 3

This time, Newell and Collins helped the Bears bounce back to put away the baseball team from Harvard on a wonderful night at Claude Smith Field. Joe Winker would blast off his eight home run of the season as Thomas Carroll (3-5, 2 2B, 5 RBI) also provided an offensive spark over the Crimson.