KENNESAW, Ga. – The Mercer baseball team's late inning rally fell just short in a 5-4 loss in the series finale to Kennesaw State on Sunday afternoon at Stillwell Stadium.
Despite the loss, Mercer (16-5, 2-1 A-Sun) won the series 2-1 and is still off to its second-best start after 21 games in program history, tying the marks set by the 1977 and 1979 edition of the Bears.
It would be Kennesaw State who, for the third time this weekend, scored first after an RBI double by junior Bo Way and a wild pitch made the score 2-0 Owls after one inning of play.
The home team continued to put balls in play against Mercer starter Ben Lumsden, plating two more runs in the bottom of the second to take a 4-0 lead.
The Bears bats started to get going in the top of the third when senior Logan Gaines ripped a triple to dead center and was brought in with a sacrifice fly from classmate Evan Boyd to pull Mercer within three, at 4-1.
With the score 5-1 in the top of the seventh, the Orange and Black continued to chip away at the Owls lead. A KSU error and a two-RBI double by sophomore Chesny Young made the score 5-4 in favor of the home team.
That would be as close as the Bears would get, however, as their late inning rally came up just short. Despite having runners in scoring position in both the eighth and ninth innings, Kennesaw State's bullpen wiggled out of both jams to come away with the win.
Senior Travis Benn led the way for Mercer offensively, going 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored while sophomore Eric Nyquist steadied the Bears pitching staff by throwing 2.1 innings of shutout relief in a losing effort.
Mercer returns to action on Tuesday when it begins a grueling stretch of 10 games in 13 days starting at Georgia State on March 19. Game time is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the GSU Baseball Complex.