The No. 3 Tech baseball team notched two more victories during a pair of mid-week games against the Mercer Bears. Tech traveled to Macon and defeated the Bears 15-8 on Tuesday, March 23, then returned home for a 19-4 win the following day. The wins move the Jackets to 17-2 on the season.
The first game was a make-up for the matchup that was rained out earlier on March 10. The Jackets picked up a high-scoring win against the Bears during the make-up game, 15-8. After four-and-a-half innings played, the Jackets had a 11-0 lead over Mercer. While the Bears were able to pick 5 runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, the bears were never within six runs of Tech for the game.
The win gave sophomore pitcher Mark Pope his second victory of the season with six innings pitched, giving up five earned runs off of 10 hits and one unearned run. Sophomore pitcher Jake Davies also saw some action with two innings pitched; junior Taylor wood closed out the game for the Jackets’ pitching staff, coming in for the ninth inning.
Junior shortstop Derek Dietrich led the Jackets offensively, going 4-for-5 with four RBI’s. Mercer’s third-baseman Jacob Tanis led the Bears on the night, going 3-for-4 and getting five RBI’s.
The Jackets continued their momentum into the Wednesday game, beating the Bears, 19-4. Freshman pitcher Buck Farmer picked up the win for the Jackets with five innings pitched, giving up six hits and three runs, all earned.
The Bears started out the second game with one run in the first off a sac fly. Sophomore catcher Cole Leonida led off the bottom of the second with a triple and was batted in by sophomore third baseman Matt Skole during the following at-bat, evening the score at 1-1. The Jackets went on to score six more runs in the inning to take a 7-1 lead. Freshman left fielder Brandon Thomas had a double which brought in two runs. Thomas would go on to score on the next at-bat due to an error by the left fielder. Junior center fielder Jeff Rowland and senior first baseman Tony Plagman also had RBI’s during the inning.
The offensive showing continued for the Jackets for the remainder of the game.
The Jackets recorded three triples on the night, which tied a school record. Rowland also picked up his sixth home run of the season, and sophomore infielder Connor Winn went long for his first of the season.
The Jackets will kick off a weekend series against North Carolina on Friday up in Chapel Hill, N.C. It will be the third ACC series of the season for the Jackets, who are 5-1 so far in conference play.