Baseball struggles in conference play


After a historic 10-1 start to the 2012 season, the Mercer baseball team has begun to show signs of inconsistency in all aspects of the game. Fresh off their drubbing of Georgia State, the Bears would lose two of three against the disappointing KSU Owls, easily handle the Rattlers of Florida A&M and then got trampled by the Lipscomb on the road.
Georgia St. 0, Mercer 11
Coming off their three-game series loss against Mississippi State, the Bears traveled home for a six-game home stint beginning with a brief one-game versus their in-state rivals from Georgia State. The Mercer offense came to life with 11 hits and runs in their shutout win over the Panthers. Beginning with Dimitri Kourtis’ masterful five innings, the Bears used a line of five relievers to piece together the impressive blowout. Shortstop Evan Boyd went 3-for-4 with three runs batted in the contest.
Kennesaw St. 9, Mercer 4
In their first action of conference play, the Bears struggled to find any offensive rhythm as they mustered just four hits and four runs in the 9-4 loss at the hands of the Owls of Kennesaw State. Ace pitcher Brandon Love was rattled for six runs off of nine hits in the game. Six different Owl players tallied at least one RBI.
Kennesaw St. 8, Mercer 0
The offensive woes for the Bears continued as they put together only two hits in their worst loss of the season. Defensively, Mercer seemed to kick the ball around as they recorded four errors on the field. KSU pitcher Steve Janas shut down the Bears with seven stunning innings of one-hit ball. Evan Boyd’s one out double in the fifth was Mercer’s first hit of the game. The Owls outhit the Bears 16-2 on the night while Mercer stranded all four of its base runners of the game.
Kennesaw St. 1, Mercer 2
After a tough start to conference play, the Bears picked up their first victory in the three-game set while avoiding a sweep at the hands of KSU. With offense coming at a premium in recent games for the Bears, Mercer compiled seven hits and only two runs in the contest. Led by David Randall’s stellar outing, the Bears held the Owls to just six hits and one run to win the nail-biter game three. Entering the ninth with a 2-0 lead, the game would end with the tying run at first base.
FAMU 2, Mercer 13
After a tough series against the Owls, the Bears flipped the script on the visiting Florida A&M. Outhitting FAMU 16-5, Mercer cruised to a 13-2 victory. Powered by Chesny Young’s base-clearing double, Logan Gaines’ team-leading seventh homerun and a 4-for-5 night from Nate Moorhouse, the Bears garnered a much-needed win after having dropped six of their last 10 games.
FAMU 5, Mercer 13
Game two proved to be much of the same as the Bears scored early and often on the FAMU pitching. Derrick Workman and Nate Moorhouse each drove in three runs while nine Mercer batters recorded a hit in the eight-run drubbing. With two runs in the first and four in the third, the Bears jumped out to a 6-1 early lead and never looked back.
Mercer 2, Lipscomb 7
Coming off a strong finish at home, the Bears hit a wall when they arrived in Nashville to resume to conference play against Lipscomb. With first inning homeruns from leadoff hitter Evan Boyd and Nick Backlund, the Bears were off to a promising start. Mercer would go on to compile only five hits and leave nine runners stranded in the remainder of the contest. The Bison used hits from eight different batters in their balanced attack en route to the 7-2 victory.
Mercer 3, Lipscomb 11
Game two didn’t get any better for the Bears as three errors and late bullpen pitching would haunt them in the eight-run defeat. Trailing 2-1 after six, the Bison would put up nine runs with a pair of long balls between the seventh and eighth to trample the Mercer attack.
Mercer 4, Lipscomb 7
Looking to snap their two-game skid and avoid a sweep at the hands of Lipscomb, the Bears jumped out to an early 4-0 lead after one inning of play. The Bison would claw their way back into the game with three in the second and one in the fifth. Knotted up 4-4 until the eighth, Lipscomb’s three-run eighth would prove the difference as the Bison would become the first team to sweep the Bears this season.
The loss brings Mercer to its longest losing streak of the season at three. The Bears also lose their fourth consecutive three-game series.
After dropping two of three against KSU and all three games versus Lipscomb, the Bears now sit at 1-5 in early conference play. With the recent stretch of six losses in 10 games, the Bears record sits at 16-10 on the year.
Mercer resumes conference play at home when No. 15 Stetson visits Claude Smith Field for a three-game set beginning Friday, March 30.