Baseball Drops 6-5 Extra-Inning Heartbreaker to Stetson
MACON, Ga. – The Mercer baseball team couldn't convert multiple early scoring chances, and it eventually caught up to them in the form of a 6-5 loss, in 10 innings, to Stetson on Friday evening at Claude Smith Field.
The loss drops Mercer to 19-15 overall and 5-5 in Atlantic Sun play. Stetson, meanwhile, improves to 17-15 overall and 5-2 in A-Sun action with the win.
"Tonight's game was just another great A-Sun battle between two quality clubs," head coach Craig Gibson said. "I liked our energy level, but you can't continue to leave men on base and in scoring position and expect to win games."
Both starting pitchers failed to factor in the decision as the game was not decided until long after each departed from the contest. Mercer starter Brandon Love went five innings and allowed five earned runs, while Stetson starter Jacob deGrom lasted only 4.1 innings and gave up four earned.
Mercer entered its half of the fourth down 3-2, but junior John Moreland stepped up to the plate and changed all that with one swing of the bat. The Marietta, Ga. native crushed a two-run home run, his second in the last three games, to put the Bears on top, 4-3.
Stetson rallied to re-capture the lead with a pair of runs in the top of the sixth. A sacrifice fly and an RBI single by freshman Kurt Schluter gave the Hatters a 5-4 lead.
With time running out, it took a clutch hit by a senior in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game back up. Michael Langley came up to bat with two outs and guided a single up the middle to score the game-tying run and knot the score back up, at 5-5.
The game eventually went into extra innings and that is where Stetson came away with the victory. Senior Aaron Crittenden hit a lead-off home run in the top of the 10th inning and Hatters closer Robbie Powell pitched a 1-2-3 bottom half to seal the win.
Mercer will be back in action on Saturday afternoon when it plays a doubleheader against Stetson to conclude the three-game series. Game one is scheduled for 1 p.m. with game two to follow at 4 p.m. at Claude Smith Field.