The Mercer Bears scored four runs over the first two innings and held on for a 5-3 mid-week win over the Georgia Southern Eagles at J.I. Clements Stadium.
Josh Stevenson (1-3) settled down after allowing the early runs and combined with the bullpen to allow one run over the final seven frames. Stevenson was tagged with the loss after allowing five runs on nine hits. He walked one and struck out six over five innings.
“I thought Josh gave us a good effort. He had us in position to win the game,” Head Coach Rodney Hennon said about the performance of Tuesday's starting pitcher. “The one mistake that hurt him was the two-out walk before Lagarde's home run in the second.”
Georgia Southern (21-15) struck for three runs in the fourth inning but left two on base. The Eagles drew a pair of one-out walks to start a one-out rally against No. 28 Mercer (30-10) starter Ben Lumsden. Robbie Dodds, Michael McClellan and Tyler Avera all drove in runs with singles in the inning.
Stephen Glaze struck out Arthur Owens for the second out of the fourth inning, and left fielder Logan Gaines threw out Stryker Brown at third base for the final out of the frame. Glaze (3-0) threw 2.2 scoreless innings and struck out four batters to earn the win.
Dimitri Kourtis left a lead off base runner stranded at second base after getting Avera to fly out to center field to end the game. Kourtis (5) earned the save after getting the only batter he faced out. McClellan drew a walk and pinch runner Garren Palmer stole second base, but David Teasley recorded a pair of strikeouts before Kourtis came on for the final out.
The Bears scored two runs in the first inning on a two-run homer from Chesny Young. Sasha Lagarde, who scored on Young's long ball, homered down the left field line to score two more runs in the second inning.
After Georgia Southern pulled within a run, Mercer added a run in the sixth inning to take a 5-3 lead. Evan Boyd singled to lead off the inning and later scored from third base on a Gaines single to center field.
The Eagles recorded a pair of two-out base hits in the seventh inning. Avera and Scooter Williams both singled in the frame before Teasley coaxed a pop up for the third out.
“We have got to improve offensively. It's no secret, we are struggling to score runs and to put anything together with any kind of constancy. Some guys are going to have to step up and respond,” Hennon said.
Baseball returns to action tomorrow against Kennesaw State. First pitch against the Owls is set for 6 p.m.