Mercer Clinches Spot in A-Sun Tournament with 5-2 Win over USC Upstate
MACON, Ga. – The Mercer baseball team completed its unbelievable run to end the 2012 regular season with another clutch 5-2 win over USC Upstate on Saturday afternoon at Claude Smith Field to clinch a spot in the Atlantic Sun Tournament for the for the seventh-straight season under head coach Craig Gibson.
Mercer (37-19, 15-12 A-Sun) was in last place in the A-Sun Conference on April 1 with a 2-7 league mark, but has stormed back by winning 13 out of its final 14 games to finish the regular season with a conference-high 37 victories.
USC Upstate started the scoring in the game when sophomore Brody Greer hit an RBI double off Mercer starter Brandon Barker in the top of the third to give the Spartans a 1-0 lead.
After USC Upstate broke up the tie with a run in the top of the sixth, Mercer took its first lead of the game in the bottom half of the inning. An RBI groundout by junior Travis Benn and an RBI double by junior Logan Gaines put the Orange and Black in front, 3-2.
That is the way things would stay thanks to a pair of Mercer relief pitchers. Junior David Teasley and freshman Dimitri Kourtis each worked their way out of bases loaded jams in the seventh and eighth innings to keep the Bears ahead, 3-2.
Young gave the Orange and Black all the insurance they would need when he stepped up and crushed a two-run home run to right-center to put Mercer ahead to stay 5-2.
Kourtis came back on in the top of the ninth and pitched a scoreless frame to secure the victory and record his second save of the season.
Teasley was awarded the win moving his record up to a perfect 7-0 in 2012 after throwing two scoreless innings of relief.
Young completed his monster freshman regular season campaign by going 4-for-5 in the contest with three RBI and a run scored.
Mercer now awaits the final results around the conference this evening to determine who and when it will play in the first round of the A-Sun Championship on May 23 in DeLand, Fla. on the campus of Stetson University.