Box ScoreAUBURN, Ala.- A pair of brilliant pitching performances stymied Auburn's bats, as the Mercer baseball team took advantage of its opportunities in a 2-1, non-conference victory over the Tigers.
Philip Morrison (4-10) had the best outing of his Mercer career, throwing six innings of five-hit, shutout ball against Auburn (31-22). Mercer (20-32) trotted out ace Brian Jones in the seventh inning, who gave up only one run on three hits in his third relief appearance of the season, notching his first save of the season.
"What a great win this is for our program," said Mercer head coach Craig Gibson. "To get great outings from Philip and Brian against a team like Auburn is great. We took advantage of our opportunities and played great in the field. But to get a win like this on this kind of stage is just awesome."
The Bears struck for the first time in the fourth inning, when a leadoff error by Auburn right fielder J.T. Williamson put Josh Thompson on base. After moving to second base on a wild pitch, Thompson moved to third base on a groundout by Eric Renfroe. Mercer took then took the lead when third baseman Ty Megahee singled through the left side of the infield with two outs.
A pair of walks and a single by Chase Swanson loaded the bases for the Bears in the seventh with only one out. An RBI groundout by Roger Alvarez brought home the second run for the Bears, one that they would need in the bottom half of the inning.
Jones came on in the seventh to relieve Morrison and ran into some trouble early. After striking out Williamson to begin the inning, a pair of hits sandwiching a fielder's choice put runners at the corners with two outs. Chuck Jeroloman singled to center field bring in the only Tiger run of the night, as Jones retired six of the next seven batters in the final two innings to wrap up the third save of his career.
All four Auburn pitchers struggled with their control, as starter Mike Felix lasted only four innings, giving up two hits and one unearned run. The Tigers' second pitcher, John Madden (1-2) earned the loss, as the Bears managed two hits off of the righthander and the game-winning run in the seventh.
Mercer returns to action Friday afternoon, when they tangle with A-Sun foe Florida Atlantic. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Claude Smith Field.