MACON, Ga. – Senior Derrick Workman broke the program record for most hits in a career to highlight the No. 24 Mercer baseball team's 4-2 Atlantic Sun Conference series opening win over Stetson on Friday evening at Claude Smith Field.
Mercer (36-11, 17-5 A-Sun) has now won nine out of its last 10 games overall and are owners of a 10-game home winning streak which ranks as the fourth-longest active streak in the nation.
Senior Sasha LaGarde had a big night at the dish, going 2-for-3 with a triple, a home run and two runs scored to increase his A-Sun leading total up to 48 runs scored on the season.
Stetson jumped on the scoreboard first in the top of the first against Mercer starter Brandon Barker when freshman Jordan Schulz guided an RBI single up the middle to give the Hatters a 1-0 lead.
Workman made history just an inning later when he singled through the right side of the Stetson infield on the very first pitch of his at-bat to set the all-time Mercer hits record. Workman and Tim Smith had been tied with 264 career hits, but Workman's single in the bottom of the second pushed him past Smith and into sole possession of the record that had stood since the end of the 1983 season.
LaGarde eventually jump started the Mercer offense in the bottom of the third when he laced a solo home run, his team-high ninth long ball of the season, over the wall in right field to tie things up at 1-1.
Following a run by the Hatters in the top of the fourth, the Bears took the lead for good with a two-run frame in the bottom of the sixth. A sacrifice fly by senior Nick Backlund and an RBI single by Workman pushed Mercer in front by a score of 3-2.
With the score now 4-2, junior Dimitri Kourtis did the rest throwing 2.1 innings of scoreless relief to secure the win and earn his second-straight save.
Freshman Austin Lord picked up the win to improve his record to 2-0 on the season after throwing a scoreless inning of relief for the Bears.
Barker was solid in a starting effort, allowing two runs on nine hits in 5.2 innings pitched while matching his season-high with eight strikeouts.
Mercer pitching capitalized on its bend but not break performance in the contest that forced Stetson into a season-high 16 men left on base.
Mercer and Stetson continue its three-game series tomorrow evening with a 7 p.m. first pitch at Claude Smith Field.