MACON, Ga. – Senior J.T. Odom worked out of a bases loaded no out jam in the top of the ninth inning to help the Mercer baseball team hold onto a valuable 6-4 Atlantic Sun win over Lipscomb on Friday evening at Claude Smith Field.
With Mercer up 6-4 going into the top of the ninth, Lipscomb started the frame with its first three batters reaching base. Odom then came on in relief of freshman DJ Johnson, and shut the door, striking out the side to earn his third save of the season.
Mercer improves to 27-15 overall with the win, but more importantly moves its A-Sun Conference record back up to .500, at 11-11. Lipscomb drops to 14-26 and 5-12 in A-Sun play with the loss.
Johnson got the scoring started in the bottom of the second when he laced an RBI single up the middle against Lipscomb starter Connor Sinclair to give Mercer an early 1-0 lead.
With the score tied at 2-2, the Bears used a three-run bottom of the sixth inning to create some separation. A wild pitch, a successful suicide squeeze by sophomore Evan Boyd and an RBI single by junior Billy Burns made the score 5-2 in favor of the home team.
Lipscomb kept hanging around, however, using a two-run home run by senior Richie Goodenow in the top of the seventh to close within one, at 5-4.
Mercer got an insurance run in the bottom half of the inning thanks to a sacrifice fly by senior John Moreland and relied on Odom's heroics late to pick up the win.
Johnson earned the win for the Bears, his first of the season, after giving up two runs in 2.1 innings of relief.
Moreland and Johnson led the Orange and Black at the dish, both going 2-for-4 on the evening with an RBI and a run scored.
Mercer returns to the diamond on Saturday afternoon looking for the series sweep against Lipscomb. Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Claude Smith Field.