VMI Keydets drop 9-4 contest to Mercer
The Mercer Bears scored eight runs in their final three at-bats, turning the game around on the way to a 9-4 win over the VMI Keydets in the middle game of a SoCon series, contested Saturday in Macon, Ga.
VMI (23-19, 10-7 SoCon) carried a 3-1 lead into the sixth, sparked by homers from Collin Fleischer and Matt Dunlevy and five strong innings from Zak Kent. A pair of solo homers by Mercer (30-15, 9-8), however, tied the game in the sixth and handed things over to the bullpens.
In the seventh, three RBI singles – all with two out – off Matt Eagle gave the Bears a 6-3 lead, an advantage they would not surrender. Nate Eaton homered leading off the eighth, but Le Bassett capped the scoring with a three-run homer off Eaton in the bottom of the frame to account for the final margin.
Kent got a no-decision after allowing three runs in 5 2/3 innings, as Eagle (1-3) was charged with the loss. Sawyer Gipson-Long (4-0) allowed only Eaton’s eighth-inning homer and picked up the victory, and Nick Spear allowed just one baserunner in 1 2/3 innings to record his fifth save.
Offensively, four Keydet hitters had two hits apiece and Will Malbon reached base four times (two hits and two walks). One day after all nine of VMI’s hitters reached base, eight of VMI’s nine hitters had at least one hit, with Peyton Maddox being the lone exception.
The game was just VMI’s second loss of the season when the Keydets hit two or more homers.
JT Thomas led Mercer by going 4 for 5 with two RBI and a homer.
The Keydets and Bears will wrap up their series Sunday at 1 p.m.