MACON, Ga. – Lee Wilson’s two-run double was not enough for the Lipscomb as Atlantic Sun Conference opponent No. 24 Mercer defeated the Bisons 5-2 at Claude Smith Field in Macon, Ga.
The Bisons (13-27, 3-11 A-Sun) found themselves down 3-0 heading to the top of the fourth inning.
With two-outs in the inning, shortstop Aaron Sandoval walked and the next batter first baseman Tyson Ashcraft hit a double down the left field line. Wilson then followed with his two-run two bagger that the ball came out of Mercer’s right fielder Derrick Workman’s glove as he was trying to make an outstanding diving catch.
But the inning would end there as center fielder Zach Lowery filed out to right field.
“Zach came up behind him and hit another ball hard right at a guy too that could have tied it up right there,” Lipscomb coach Jeff Forehand said. “This is what I talked to the team about – the what-ifs, could-ifs and should-ifs don’t add up.
“The bottom line is that they played better than we did today. We played good, but we’ve got to play better to close out a game.”
In the first inning, Lipscomb starter Hunter Brothers (3-5) walked the first two Mercer players, but was able to get out of the jam by recording the next three outs without allowing a run to score.
Mercer (32-10, 12-5 A-Sun) drove the first two runs of the game in the bottom of the second inning. First baseman Austin Barrett grounded out to second base to drive in a run. The next batter, second baseman Michael Massi hit a base hit to right field to drive in the game’s second run.
The Bears added another run in the bottom of the third inning. Left fielder Logan Gaines drove in a run with a base hit up the middle to increase the Bears lead to 3-0.
“We got out of a jam in the first inning and almost got out of the jam in the second inning,” Forehand said. “We gave too many opportunities early and they put themselves in a better position.”
Mercer added another run in the bottom of the fifth inning when catcher David Reid-Foley singled in a run to increase the Bears lead 4-2.
Center fielder Sasha Lagarde added a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth inning to give the Bears a 5-2 lead.
Brothers was chased in the third inning, pitching 2.1 innings giving up two earned runs off of four hits with five walks and two strikeouts en route to the loss.
Mercer’s starting pitcher Brandon Barker pitched six innings giving up two earned runs on five hits with one walk and nine strikeouts. Barker picked up the win to improve to 5-0. Dimitri Kourtis picked up his seventh save of the season by pitching a scoreless ninth inning.
Ashcraft lead the Bisons with a 2-for-3 day with one run scored and one walk.
The final game of the series is set for Sunday at Noon. Will Blalock will be throwing for Lipscomb, while DJ Johnson will be throwing for the Mercer.