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Friday, April 22, 2011A three-run sixth inning by Mercer broke open a 2-2 game as the Bears held-off Lipscomb, 6-4 in the second game of a three-game series at Claude Smith Field Friday.
The Bisons outhit the Bears 14-8, but went 2-for-16 (.125) with runners in scoring position to drop the second straight game to Mercer.
With the loss, Lipscomb falls to 14-26 overall and 5-12 in the A-Sun. The win improves Mercer to 27-15 and 11-11 in conference play.
The Bisons recorded six extra-base hits compared to one for Mercer but it wasn’t enough to snap Lipscomb’s seven-game road losing streak.
Trailing 6-4, Lipscomb had a great opportunity to score in the top of the ninth when the first three Bison hitters reached base, loading the bases with no one out.
M.L. Williams led off the ninth with a double to the left-center gap. T.J. Hoelzer then drew a six-pitch walk before moving up a base on Richie Goodenow’s single to right-field.
With bases loaded and no one out, Mercer brought in senior right-hander JT Odom out of the bullpen and he delivered, striking out the next three Lipscomb hitters and stranding the bases loaded to earn his third save of the season.
Mercer took an early 1-0 lead in the second inning on a two-out single, which was their only hit in the inning.
The Bisons knotted things up 1-1 in the third on Ricky Coleman’s lead-off home run to straight-away center. The home run was Coleman’s team-high fifth of the year.
The Bisons grabbed its first lead of the series in the top of the fourth as Bennett Smith and Lee Wilson connected on back-to-back one-out doubles.
With the Bisons leading 2-1, Mercer tied the game up in the bottom of the fourth when they manufactured a run on two hits while moving a runner over on a sacrifice bunt.
The game remained tied at two, until Mercer broke out for three runs on three hits in the bottom of the sixth to take a 5-2 lead.
The Bisons would once again cut the Bears’ lead to one run as Goodenow drilled a two-run home run over the right-field wall for his second homer in his last three games to make it a 5-4 game in the top of the seventh. Goodenow’s two-run shot, also scored Hoelzer, who led-off the seventh with a single.
Mercer would add a insurance run in the bottom half of the seventh via a sacrifice fly.
Lipscomb starter, Connor Sinclair (2-5) allowed four runs on six hits with three walks and six strikeouts in 5.1 innings on Friday.
Richie Goodenow threw the final 2.2 innings for the Bisons, allowing two runs on two hits with two walks and three strikeouts while facing 14 batters.
M.L. Williams once again paced the Bisons offense with three hits Friday while Goodenow, Hoelzer, Smith and Coleman each had two hits in the game.
Mercer starter, Brandon Barker allowed two runs on seven hits while striking out five in 4.1 innings.
The Bisons will look to snap its seven-game road losing streak tomorrow in the series finale against the Bears at 1 p.m. Eastern.