HIGH POINT, N.C. – The Mercer baseball team is now on a nine-game winning streak and off to its best start since 1970 after grinding out a 5-2 win at High Point on Friday evening.
Mercer (10-1) is now tied with the 1970 edition of the Bears for the best start after 11 games in program history. The Orange and Black's current nine-game winning streak is also their longest since they put together 10-straight victories back in 1992.
The Bears jumped on the board first in the top of the third with a trio of runs. After an Evan Boyd sacrifice fly that plated a run, sophomore Nick Backlund crushed a two-run home run to dead center to give Mercer an early 3-0 lead.
High Point grabbed a run back in the bottom of the fourth when freshman Spencer Angelis poked an RBI single up the middle to make the score 3-1.
That is the way things stayed over the next two innings, as Mercer starter Brandon Love and High Point hurler Malcolm Clapsaddle matched zeros on the scoreboard.
Junior Logan Gaines changed all that in the top of the seventh with one swing of the bat. The Augusta, Ga. product hit a frozen rope that just cleared the left field fence to increase Mercer's advantage to 4-1. With that home run, Gaines tied Backlund for the Atlantic Sun Conference lead with five home runs apiece on the season.
After sophomore DJ Johnson ripped an RBI single to left to make the score 5-1, Love took the Bears home the rest of the way. Love went eight strong innings, matching a career-high, and allowed just one run on just six hits to go along with seven strikeouts to pick up the win.
Backlund finished the day going 3-for-5 with a run scored while Johnson and Sophomore Derrick Workman each had two hits apiece in the win.
Mercer is back at it tomorrow afternoon for game two of its series against High Point. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Williard Stadium.