MACON, Ga. – Mercer baseball prevailed over Bethune-Cookman 4-2 in a brilliant pitchers duel between Brantley New and R.J Rodriguez on Friday at Claude Smith Field.
New tossed seven innings, allowing four hits and two earned but did not factor in the decision. Rodriguez was collard with the loss, allowing all four runs, while recording six strikeouts.
“This was exactly the type of game we expected it to be, a battle from the first pitch,” head coach Craig Gibson said. “Brantley [New] kept us in the game until our offense could break through. That is the kind of all-around performance we are going to need all weekend.”
Bethune-Cookman (3-5) got things going early, scoring in the top of the first when Jose Ortiz sliced a lead-off triple down the right-field line. Ortiz then scored when Rob Caruso was caught trying to steal second.
Mercer (6-2) finally cracked the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth inning when Josh Thompson and Andrew Einert notched back-to-back singles. Jason Lowey was hit by a Rodriguez pitch to load the bases. Eric Renfroe reached on a fielder’s choice, driving Thompson across and tying the game at 1-1.
The Wildcats took the lead again in the top of the seventh inning when Colin Irvine singled up the middle. Chris Brown hit an RBI double down the left-field line.
John Dortch smashed his second homer of the season in the bottom of the seventh inning to tie the game once again.
Then in the bottom of the eighth inning, Shawn Barrett found the left-center field gap for a double. Josh Thompson then put the Bears on top with a deep homer to right-center field.
Andrew Urena slammed the door for his second consecutive save, recording two strikeouts.
Thompson finished the day 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored.
Mercer and Bethune-Cookman square off again on Saturday, first pitch is scheduled for