ATLANTA, Ga. – Despite holding the lead for the better part of six innings, the No. 28 Mercer baseball team succumbed to a relentless No. 14 Georgia Tech offensive attack, 15-9, on Tuesday evening at Russ Chandler Stadium.
Mercer (11-2) hung with the powerful Yellow Jackets throughout, until Georgia Tech (12-1) pushed across 11 runs combined in the sixth and seventh innings to pull away late for the win.
Mercer wasted no time jumping on Georgia Tech starter Josh Heddinger in the top of the first inning. A single, a walk and a two-RBI single by junior Derrick Workman made the score 2-0 Bears after one.
Georgia Tech responded with a run in the bottom of the second courtesy of an RBI single by junior Mott Hyde to make the score 2-1 Bears after two innings of play.
The Orange and Black capitalized on a key error on a potential double play ball by freshman Matt Gonzalez in the top of the fourth to plate another run and extend their lead to 3-1.
Georgia Tech came right back, however, taking advantage of a Mercer error and an RBI double by senior Brandon Thomas to spearhead a three-run rally to take a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Mercer kept the see-saw game going with a big answer of its own in the top of the sixth inning. A two-run home run by junior Austin Barrett and an RBI double by classmate Nick Backlund put the Bears back ahead 6-4.
The Yellow Jackets just kept coming though, scoring five runs in the bottom of the sixth keyed by a bases clearing triple by sophomore A.J. Murray to make the score 9-6 Georgia Tech.
Georgia Tech put the game out of reach with six more runs in the bottom of the seventh to extend its lead to 15-7.
Workman was a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate in a losing effort with two RBI and three runs scored while sophomore Chesny Young had three hits and two runs scored.
Mercer is back in action this weekend when it travels to Indiana to take part in the Indiana State Tournament. The Bears kick off the event against South Dakota State on March 8 at 12 noon.