Baseball Survives Pitching Duel with 1-0 Win over Jacksonville
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Mercer baseball team used a dominant pitching performance by freshman Brandon Barker to pull out a breathtaking 1-0 win over Jacksonville on Day Three of the A-Sun Championship at Dugan Field.
The Mercer baseball team is now just two wins away from repeating as Atlantic Sun Conference Champions, needing to beat Belmont twice tomorrow afternoon to become the first team to repeat as conference champions since Stetson accomplished the feat in 2005-06.
The Bears also secured the first 1-0 win in the Atlantic Sun Championship since Florida International defeated Florida Atlantic back in 1995.
Mercer is now 39-19 this season and is one of the hottest teams in the nation, having won 15 of its last 19 contests.
The Bears 39 wins this season ties the 1981 club for the most victories in a single-season in program history.
Mercer once again generated some early offense in the top of the first thanks to a clutch hit by a fifth-year senior. Thomas Carroll crushed an RBI double to left-center to plate the first run of the game and give the Bears an early 1-0 lead.
That is the ways things stayed over the next six innings with Mercer's Brandon Barker and Jacksonville's Seth Green matching zeros.
Barker lasted 6.2 innings and allowed no runs on six hits with eight strikeouts.
Green pitched into the eighth and allowed a lead-off single to sophomore Evan Boyd before being lifted. Green went seven innings and allowed one earned run on four hits to go along with three strikeouts.
The single didn't come back to haunt Green, however, as senior reliever Chris Kaminski struck out Carroll with runners on first and second with two outs keeping the score 1-0 in favor of the Orange and Black.
The Bears held onto that one run lead going into the ninth when JT Odom came in and retired the Dolphins in order to secure the win and pick up his eighth save of the season.
Mercer plays Belmont in game one of the Championship round tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m. ET at Dugan Field.
A interesting note for fans to hold onto going into tomorrow action is that in A-Sun Championship history the last team to lose two-straight games on Championship Saturday was Belmont when it dropped two in a row to Jacksonville in 2007.