Baseball team holds an 8-0 record to start the season

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Image: Jen Jones

Trevor Austin (#34) hits a line drive into the outfield against Maryland-Eastern Shore.

Mercer’s baseball team led their opening weekend with an undefeated season so far. The team played Maryland-Eastern Shore, beating them in their first game 13-4. 

The win was the first time the Bears have had that many runs in an opener since 2018 when they beat Bethune-Cookman 13-7. This also marks the tenth straight win for the season opener.

There were three home runs with Colby Thomas hitting one at his second ever career at-bat. Brandon Michie and Bill Knight hit the other two home runs back to back in the bottom of the sixth.

Thomas was named into the top D1 100 Freshman by the NCCA. He holds the 133rd rank and held a .353 batting average after the first weekend. 

Defensively, the Bears set records as Tanner Hall pitched five innings and beat his career record of nine strikeouts.

On Saturday, the Bears won the double header with the final score of 3-2 for the first and 5-2 for the second. 

The team then traveled to Tallahassee, Florida, to face off against Florida A&M.

During the first game, the Rattlers took an early lead with the winning runs not coming till the eighth inning. The Bears set a season-high of 17 hits in a game and have only allowed 10 hits for a game.

Garrett Mathis pitched six innings with 11 strikeouts.

The second game was won by the Bears with a final score of 7-2. Angelo DiSpigna hit the 15th home run of his career. Pitcher Josh Famer picked up the first win of his career and Hunter Philips had seven strikeouts. 

“I’m pleased with the way we played on Tuesday and Wednesday. I thought our pitching was outstanding from our starters to our bullpen,” Coach Craig Gibson told Mercer Athletics. “Offensively, our plan and approach at the plate was much better than the previous weekend.”

The Bears then returned home to face off against Radford University. Starting pitcher Tanner Hall picked up his second win of the season on Friday and struck out eight. 

“The first thing that goes through my mind is to throw a strike for the first pitch of the game to set the tone,” Hall said.  

Hall’s 16 starts last season led the SoCon and he is already up to 17 strikeouts this season.

“We have a lot of positive energy cheering each other on, having a good time and I think that is feeding into what we are doing right now and hopefully we can keep doing it,” Hall said.

On Saturday, the Bears beat Radford 6-1. This was the third time that Mercer gave no extra-base hits. Philips got his second save of the season and Garrett Mathes achieved his first win of the season and allowed zero runs.

Mercer completed the sweep on Sunday with a three run comeback in the 8th to win 7-6. Michie obtained his second home run of the season and pitcher Fred Wilson obtained his first win.

Mercer will face off in the battle of I-16 against Georgia Southern who hold a 3-4 record so far on Feb. 26.