A small crowd braved the cold to see the Georgia State baseball team dominate Mercer on Tuesday.
Joey Roach and Caden Bailey led the Panthers with huge days offensively, and Marc-Andre Habeck kept the Bears off balance with eight strikeouts in four-plus innings of work in a 14-1 decision, which was cut short to seven innings.
Georgia State broke the game open in the second inning with six runs. All six were unearned after Mercer misplayed a tough slow roller that would have ended the inning with no runs scored. After the error, Bailey had a two-run single, making it 3-0 with two outs and runners on the corners.
After an intentional walk, Mercer starter Ben Lumsden faced off with Roach, but that plan backfired as Roach deposited a 1-2 fastball over the right-center field fence to make it 7-0.
It looked like Lumsden would settle in as he retired four of the next five batters, but when the top of the Panthers’ lineup came up again, those batters caused more trouble. In the fourth inning, Roach hit another homer, this one a monster two-run shot down the right-field line. Lumsden took the loss, allowing 10 runs (four earned) on 10 hits and on walk.
Right fielder Trey Truitt was one of the only bright spots for Mercer. He made a nice diving catch to end the third inning, the only inning Georgia State didn’t score. Truitt, batting ninth, also drove in Mercer’s lone run when he doubled in Matt Meeder in the fifth.
Justin Jones, a freshman from Houston County, went 1-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored out of the Panthers’ leadoff spot.
Mercer falls to 1-3, while Georgia State improves to 2-2. Mercer is back in action at 4 p.m. on Wednesday against Kennesaw State at Claude Smith Field.