MACON, Ga. – After almost five hours on the diamond, the Mercer baseball team came up short in a painful 7-6 13-inning loss to Belmont on Sunday afternoon at Claude Smith Field.
The game took four hours and forty-six minutes to complete and Mercer (23-15, 6-9 A-Sun) left a staggering 20 men on base, falling just four shy of the NCAA all-time single game record.
The Bears were on the verge of a series sweep, holding a 6-1 lead going into the seventh inning, but Belmont (25-13, 11-4 A-Sun) had other ideas.
After redshirt junior David Randall departed allowing just one run on four hits over 5.1 innings of work, the wheels started to come off for the Orange and Black. The Bruins scored three runs in the seventh and two more in the eighth against four Mercer relievers to tie the game at 6-6.
That is the way things stayed as the game moved into extra innings, with Mercer seemingly unable to push across the winning run despite multiple opportunities. Sophomore Derrick Workman was thrown out at home trying to score from second and junior David Reid-Foley grounded out with the bases loaded in the 11th inning to keep the score tied at 6-6.
Belmont finally broke the tie in the top of the 13th inning off sophomore DJ Johnson, who came on and pitched five near perfect inning of relief. Senior Phillip Parsley hit an RBI single to left off Johnson to put the Bruins up 7-6.
Freshman Dan Ludwig came on in the bottom of the 13th inning and retired the Bears in order to pick up the save and drop Mercer to 0-2 in extra-inning affairs in 2012.
Mercer returns to action on Wednesday when it starts a nine-game road trip with a non-conference match-up against Kennesaw State. Game time against the Owls is slated for 5 p.m. at Stillwell Stadium.