Georgia played catch up all day and into the night Wednesday at a cold and windy Claude Smith Field, and the Bulldogs finally caught the Mercer Bears in the ninth inning.
The Bulldogs then pulled out a 7-6 win in the 10th inning without the benefit of a hit. After a walk, a sacrifice fly and a wild pitch, Logan Moody had a sacrifice fly to right field, and Mercer right fielder Trey Truitt’s throw was up the line, allowing LJ Talley to score.
After Georgia scored two runs in the ninth to tie it up, Mercer got the bases loaded with no outs and had the second (Danny Edgeworth), third (Kyle Lewis) and fourth (Jose Hernandez) batters in its lineup up. But Edgeworth and Lewis both grounded into force outs at the plate and Hernandez struck out.
Georgia improves to 3-1, while Mercer falls to 3-1. The Bulldogs snapped a three-game losing streak to the Bears.
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THREE WHO MATTERED
Blakely Brown: The freshman pitcher got the Bulldogs out of the jam in the ninth inning and then retired the Bears in order in the 10th to get the win. He struck out three.
Jose Hernandez: The Mercer senior homered for the third straight game with a three-run blast in the first inning.
Skyler Weber: The Georgia catcher had a home run and scored three runs.
Mercer had a 6-4 lead entering the ninth inning, but Stephen Wrenn and Keegan McGovern came up with one-out singles to tie the game as the Bulldogs took advantage of an error by Bears shortstop Matt Meeder early in the inning.
That’s a lot of Ks: Mercer’s batters struck out 14 times.
And that’s a lot of runners left on base: That contributed to the Bears leaving 16 runners on base.
And that’s a lot of free passes: Georgia’s eight pitchers didn’t help themselves with 11 walks and five wild pitches.
First blast: Lewis had his first home run of the season, a solo blast in the sixth.
Middle Georgia product: Former Houston County standout Austin Wallace took the mound for Georgia in the seventh. He got two quick outs before walking his third batter and was pulled.
THEY SAID IT
Georgia head coach Scott Stricklin: "Obviously, a hard-fought game in tough conditions, a really good team, a tough place to play, and we found a way to win. We didn't play very well, we gave a lot of free bases away, we walked a lot of guys, made some errors and had a lot of wild pitches. Just some how, some way we hung in there and got some hits, chipped away and got a big win."
Mercer head coach Craig Gibson: "We didn't deserve it. We didn't deserve to win, to be honest with you. We can't turn two double plays and leave the bases loaded, and we can't score. They've got a good club, but we didn't play well enough to win (Wednesday), so congratulations to Georgia, and I hope they have a good year, but I'm just disappointed we haven't played really well."
Georgia hosts South Alabama, Cincinnati and Western Kentucky in the Bulldog Invitational this weekend, while Mercer hosts Xavier in a three-game series.