Mercer Shuts Down No. 12 Georgia Tech in 10-1 Triumph

Photo courtesy of Bryson Jones
Photo courtesy of Bryson Jones

MACON, Ga. – For the third-straight season the Mercer baseball team has earned a win over Georgia Tech, the latest of which coming in the form of a 10-1 home victory over the Yellow Jackets on Tuesday evening at Claude Smith Field.


Mercer (24-8) has now collected at least one win over Georgia Tech (21-7) in each of the last three seasons and owns an impressive 4-2 record in its last six contests against the Yellow Jackets.


"Any time you have a chance to beat a great program like Georgia Tech it's always a great win and we were able to do that tonight due to the play of our seniors," head coach Craig Gibson said. "I thought our seniors really set the tone for us both at the plate and on the mound and this was a big home win for us. We have a really tough stretch coming up so for us to come out and play as well as we did, hopefully we can carry this performance into our weekend series against North Florida."


The Bears won on Tuesday night due to a total team effort that featured an offensive attack that exploded for 13 hits and three home runs and a balanced pitching performance that held the most explosive offense in the country to season-lows of one run and five hits.


Junior Brandon Barker and senior David Randall pitched the first two innings for Mercer and didn't allow a single hit to start the night off for the Bears hurlers.


The home team broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the third when sophomore Chesny Young followed up a double by senior Evan Boyd with an RBI single to left field to give Mercer an early 1-0 lead.


After Georgia Tech tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the fourth, senior Travis Benn provided the Bears with an answer in the bottom half of the frame. Benn lifted a two-run home run that bounced on top of then over the wall in right-center field to push Mercer back in front 3-1.


That is the way things would stay until the Orange and Black put the game out of reach with an emphatic seven-run bottom of the eighth inning. Mercer batted around in the frame and received a three-run home run by Benn and a two-run long ball from junior Sasha LaGarde to make the final score 10-1.


Junior Stephen Glaze earned his second win of the season by throwing two frames of scoreless relief while sophomore Dimitri Kourtis picked up his third save of the season by closing out the contest with three-straight shutout innings.


Benn was the star offensively, finishing 2-for-4 with two home runs and five RBI for his second career multi-home run game. Junior Nick Backlund also went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI in the win.


Mercer resumes Atlantic Sun Conference play this weekend with a three-game series at North Florida starting on April 5. Game time is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Friday night at Harmon Stadium.