ATLANTA, Ga. – The Mercer baseball team broke out of an offensive slump in a big way with a 12-5 road win over Georgia State on Wednesday evening at the GSU Baseball Complex.
Mercer (21-14) pounded out 16 hits, the most since totaling 14 base knocks against Florida A&M on March 21, to sweep the two-game season series from Georgia State (14-20).
Mercer didn't waste any time jumping on Georgia State starter Caleb Gore for a five-run top of the first inning. Junior Logan Gaines provided the big hit in the frame crushing a three-run home run, his team leading 11th of the season, to give the Bears an early 5-0 lead.
After Georgia State broke through for a pair of runs in the bottom of the third, the Orange and Black responded with four runs of their own in the top of the fourth to maintain a comfortable advantage. Gaines once again supplied the highlight of the rally with a two-RBI single to put the Bears in front, 9-2.
The Panthers continued to hang around, however, scoring three more runs in the bottom of the fourth. Three-straight RBI singles, the last of which coming from junior Greg Bowder, made the score 9-5 in favor of Mercer.
The Bears put the game out of reach with three more tallies in the top of the seventh. A bases loaded walk by junior Evan Boyd capped the scoring in the frame to increase the Orange and Black's lead up to seven, at 12-5.
Despite all the gaudy offensive statistics put up by Mercer in the game, the story of the night was on the mound in the form of freshman reliever Morgan Pittman. The Newnan, Ga. product allowed no runs while setting career-highs with four innings pitched and eight strikeouts.
Redshirt sophomore Nick Backlund had a career-high five hits in the contest while Gaines also set a career mark with five RBI in the win.
Mercer now turns its attention back to Atlantic Sun Conference play as it plays host to Belmont for a three-game set this weekend. Game one of the series is set for 6 p.m. on Friday night at Claude Smith Field.