MACON, Ga. – The Mercer baseball team is going to the Atlantic Sun Championship for the sixth-straight season under head coach Craig Gibson after defeating East Tennessee State, 10-8, on Thursday evening at Claude Smith Field.
Mercer (35-17, 16-11 A-Sun) can be seeded anywhere from third to sixth in the tournament depending on multiple results through the final conference weekend of the regular season.
The Bears victory over ETSU (35-18, 15-12 A-Sun) was their sixth-straight, which ties a season-high, and secured only the seventh 35-win season in program history.
Senior Russell Moses picked up the win for Mercer after allowing no runs on just three hits to go along with three strikeouts in 2.2 innings of relief.
In a game that featured 18 runs, 30 hits and six home runs offense was abundant throughout the contest. Mercer jumped out to an early 4-1 lead in the bottom of the first when senior Thomas Carroll crushed a three-run home run, his 10th of the season, to right field.
After ETSU came back to tie the game up, at 4-4, senior John Moreland put the Bears back in front by a score of 5-4 when he connected on a solo home run, his 11th of the season, in the bottom of the fifth.
After the Buccaneers re-took the lead after putting up a four-spot in the top of the sixth, it was another home run by a freshman that gave Mercer the momentum shift it needed. Austin Barrett teed off on a solo home run to dead center field in the bottom of the seventh to knot the score up, at 8-8.
Senior J.T. Odom came on with one out in the ninth and recorded the final two outs of the game to record his fifth save of the season.
Burns finished with a game-high four hits, three runs scored and two RBI while Tanis went 3-for-5 with two RBI in the win.
Mercer continues its series with ETSU on Friday evening with a scheduled 6 p.m. first pitch at Claude Smith Field