Mercer rolls past The Citadel at SoCon Baseball Championship

The Citadel Baseball
The Citadel Baseball(Live 5 News)
Published: May. 26, 2023 at 5:32 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. – No. 2 seed Mercer got a dominant pitching performance from Josh Farmer and a four-hit day from Jozsef Rohrbacher to eliminate No. 8 seed The Citadel, 8-1, on Friday at the Southern Conference Baseball Championship presented by Holston Gases at Fluor Field.

Mercer (33-24) advances to Friday’s 7:30 p.m. game against No. 6 seed UNCG in another elimination game. The Citadel finishes the campaign with a 23-31 record.

Farmer (6-3) threw his second complete game of the season, surrendering just one run on six hits and a walk in nine innings of work. He struck out five and threw just 96 pitches, 71 of which were strikes.

The Bears spotted him to the only offense he would need in the bottom of the fourth, plating three runs in the frame. Trevor Austin scored on a wild pitch, Treyson Hughes drove in a run on a two-out infield single and Eric Toth drew a bases-loaded walk to make it 3-0.

Mercer pushed its advantage to 5-0 in the sixth, with Ty Dalley scoring on a wild pitch and Rohrbacher scoring Hughes with an RBI double.

The Citadel got its only run against Farmer in the top of the seventh, with Noah Mitchell leading off the frame by hammering the first pitch he saw 413 feet out to left for his fifth home run of the season.

The Bears salted away the win with three more runs in the eighth, getting an Austin sacrifice fly and a two-run double from Bradely Frye.

Opportunistic defense helped Mercer snuff out several potential rallies by The Citadel, which hit into four double plays on the day. The first came in the top of the first, which started out promisingly for the Bulldogs with an error and a single sandwiched around a fly out. The Bears got out of trouble with a 6-4-3 double play.

Trailing 3-0 in the top of the sixth, the Bulldogs loaded the bases with no outs when Sawyer Reeves reached on an error and Matthew Lively and Travis Lott singled. Thomas Rollauer then smoked a line drive to third that Rohrbacher snared before beating Reeves back to the bag to double him off. Farmer got the next batter to fly out to end the potential rally.

Mercer again turned two in the seventh inning to limit the damage after Mitchell’s leadoff homer before fittingly ending the game with another 6-4-3 twin-killing in the top of the ninth.

Rohrbacher was 4-for-5 with two doubles, a run and an RBI, while Austin was 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Toth saw his six-game home-run streak end as he went 0-for-1 with four walks, two of them intentional. Hughes extended his hitting streak to 19 games with his fourth-inning single. His streak is the longest active streak in the SoCon.

Lott was 2-for-4 for The Citadel’s lone multi-hit game.

Will Holmes (2-5) took the loss after allowing two runs on five hits in 3 1/3 innings of work. He walked three and struck out one.

2023 SoCon Championship presented by Holston Gases (Fluor Field; Greenville, S.C.)

May 24 (Wednesday)

Game 1: #8 The Citadel 5, #5 VMI 2

Game 2: #6 UNCG 4, #7 Western Carolina 3

May 25 (Thursday)

Game 3: #4 ETSU 12, #8 The Citadel 0 (7 inn.)

Game 4: #3 Wofford 6, #6 UNCG 1

Game 5: #1 Samford 2, #4 ETSU 1

Game 6: #3 Wofford 16, #2 Mercer 14

May 26 (Friday)

Game 7: #6 UNCG 4, #4 ETSU 2

Game 8: #2 Mercer 8, #8 The Citadel 1

Game 9: #1 Samford vs. #3 Wofford, 4 p.m.

Game 10: #6 UNCG vs. #2 Mercer, 7:30 p.m.


Game 11: Winner Game 10 vs. Loser Game 9, TBD

Game 12: Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 11, TBD

Game 13: Game 12 winner vs. Game 12 loser^, 40 minutes after Game 12