After leading through seven innings, The Citadel baseball team fell in 10 innings 6-5 on Friday afternoon against No. 27 Mercer.
The Bulldogs (12-23, 3-7 SoCon) broke out with a four-run second inning to jump out in front of the hard-hitting Bears early.
With runners on first and second, Bryce Leasure laced a ground ball up the middle to drive home Ben Peden and Joe Sabatini. Two batters later, Taylor Cothran hit a double down the right field line to score Leasure. J.D. Davis knocked home Cothran to end the big inning for The Citadel with a 4-0 lead.
After Mercer (33-7, 12-1 SoCon) scored runs in the third and fourth to cut the Bulldogs’ lead to 4-2, The Citadel responded with another run in the bottom of the fourth. Cothran scored his second run of the game on an RBI single by Clay Martin to extend the lead back to three runs.
The fifth-ranked Mercer offense would not be held down, however, scoring two runs in the eighth inning to tie the score 5-5. In the top of the 10th, the Bears scored the eventual winning run on an RBI single by Charlie Madden.
Cothran broke out with a three-hit day, finishing 3-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI. Leasure finished 1-for-2 with two walks and Peden stayed hot at the plate with two hits and a run scored.
National strikeout leader JP Sears made the start against the powerful Bears lineup. Sears held Mercer in check over six innings, allowing eight hits and three runs with nine strikeouts, leaving the ball game with a 5-3 lead.
Robert Broom earned the win for Mercer in relief, throwing four shutout innings with five strikeouts.
The Bulldogs return to action against Mercer on Saturday with first pitch at 2 p.m. Sunday’s finale against Mercer has been moved up one hour to a noon start time at Joe Riley Park.
Bottom 2nd – The Citadel 2, Mercer 0: Ben Peden and Joe Sabatini scored on a single to center field by Bryce Leasure with no outs.
Bottom 2nd – The Citadel 3, Mercer 0: Bryce Leasure scored on a double down the right field line by Taylor Cothran with one out.
Bottom 2nd – The Citadel 4, Mercer 0: Taylor Cothran scored on a single up the middle by J.D. Davis with one out.
Top 3rd – The Citadel 4, Mercer 1: Alex Hanson scored on a double to right center field by JT Thomas with two outs.
Top 4th – The Citadel 4, Mercer 2: Danny Edgeworth scored on a sacrifice fly to center field by Trey Truitt with one out.
Bottom 4th – The Citadel 5, Mercer 2: Taylor Cothran scored on a single to left field by Clay Martin with two outs.
Top 5th – The Citadel 5, Mercer 3: JT Thomas scored on a single to left field by Danny Edgeworth with two outs.
Top 8th – The Citadel 5, Mercer 4: Jackson Ware scored on a bases loaded walk by Ryan Hagan with one out.
Top 8th – The Citadel 5, Mercer 5: David Posas scored on a sacrifice fly to center field by Alex Hanson with one out.
Top 10th – Mercer 6, The Citadel 5: Alex Hanson scored on a single to left field by Charlie Madden with one out.