Powerhitting Bears take swings on eight-game road trip

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Off to a fast start, the Mercer baseball team stretched their winning streak to nine games and tied their best start since 1970 (10-1).
Running into redhot squads of High Point and Mississippi State, the Bears would proceed to lose four of their next six in their tough test of eight road games.
Through 17 games in 2012, the powerhitting Bears lead the nation in hits (204) and homeruns (26).

Mercer 12, Ga. Southern 4
With seven-game winning streak on the line, the Bears were off to a fast start in their one-game series against Georgia Southern with three runs in the top of the first. Adding two more in the third and three more in the fifth, the run support was more than enough to support the dominant performance by Dimitri Kourtis. Nick Backlund, Logan Gaines and Travis Benn all homered and drove in three for the Bears.
Mercer 5, High Point 2
The Bears extended their streak to nine games and tied their best start since 1970 with a 10-1 record. Behind the eight-inning gem of pitcher Brandon Love, the Bears once again tallied double-digit hits to tally another mark in the win column. Logan Gaines and Nick Backlund each garnered their fifth homerun of the year. This is already the fourth time the two have homered in the same game this season.
Mercer 3, High Point 4 F/11
The baseball team’s nine-game win streak came to an end in the extra-inning loss on the road against High Point. In the 11th inning, the High Point runner on first advanced to second on a defensive error and eventually scored the game-winner on the next batter. Mercer’s Brandon Barker pitched eight masterful innings before handing the ball over to the bullpen. The loss was Mercer’s first defeat since the second game of the season on Feb. 17. Both losses have been by one run.
Mercer 1, High Point 3
The Mercer team couldn’t find a groove on offense as they were held to a season-low six hits and one run in the 3-1 loss of the rubbermatch game three against High Point. The Bears were down 3-0 before sophomore Derrick Workman belted his third homerun of the year. In the pitcher’s duel, Mercer’s David Randall tossed six innings while surrendering only two earned runs.
Mercer 8, Savannah St. 5
After losing back-to-back games for the first time all year, the 10-3 Bears found their rhythm at the plate as they tallied another 11 hits and eight runs in the 8-5 win over Savannah State. Down 3-1, Mercer would plate home six runs in the fifth to take a commanding lead. The Bears used their arsenal of seven pitchers to piece together the three-run victory.
Mercer 3, #23 Miss. St. 5
Facing their toughest opponent of the season in a three-game series, the Bears fell just short in the 5-3 loss on the road against the 23rd-ranked Mississippi State. The Bears couldn’t capitalize on their opportunities as they allowed six stolen bases and stranded a season-high 10 runners against the SEC powerhouse.
Mercer 6, #23 Miss. St. 1
The Bears came out with a lot of energy and found a way to win possibly their most impressive game of the season. Mercer followed a stifling pitching performance by Brandon Barker in the 6-1 win. Barker threw eight innings, walked one and gave up just one run. The Bears strung together 14 hits and six runs en route to their 12th win of the season. The dynamic duo of Nick Backlund and Logan Gaines each homered in the same game for the fifth time this season.
Mercer 1, #23 Miss. St. 3
After winning their first three series of the season, the Bears dropped their second straight with the 3-1 loss against Mississippi State. In the rubbermatch of the three-game set, the Bears only managed three hits and one run against the dominant pitching performance of MSU’s Kendall Graveman. Graveman struck out eight and allowed only three hits in 8.1 innings pitched. With three hits, one walk and one MSU error, only five Mercer players reached base in the game.
After the tough road tests, the Bears return home for six games. Mercer plays their first conference game against the visiting Kennesaw State Owls on Friday, March 16.