NCAA Baseball Atlanta Regional - Elimination Game - Mercer 13, Elon 7 - Elon eliminated from regional
The Mercer Bears knew that the Elon Phoenix had just been smoked in Friday's opening round by the Alabama Crimson Tide. No matter - the boys from Mercer showed no mercy in the Atlanta Regional's first elimination game at Russ Chandler Stadium.
You see, Mercer had also been dusted off in Friday's first dance. The Atlantic Sun Conference champions got crushed by Georgia Tech and faced their own battle for survival. In the dog-eat-dog world of NCAA regionals, where a College World Series dream can die in two games over the course of just 24 hours, there's no room for fretting about one day's humiliation. The next battle is waiting to be won, and on this day, Mercer won it. Forced to play a day game following a night fight on Friday, the A-Sun champs regrouped. In the process, they ended the season for Elon, the reigning kings of the Southern Conference.
How did Mercer foil the Phoenix? With an early tidal wave of runs, driven in almost exclusively by two red-hot hitters.
Mercer scored three runs in the first, three more in the third, and four in the fourth to grab a 10-1 lead. Eight of those 10 runs in the Bears' scoring bonanza were driven in by Joe Winker and Thomas Carroll. The dynamic duo rapped base hits to plate each run in the three-run first. Winker pushed across two more runs with a double in the third, and Carroll delivered the crowning blow by swatting a three-run homer in the fourth.
Mercer starting pitcher Matt McCall - despite the nine-run lead heading into the fifth - couldn't finish the inning and pick up the win. The "W" instead went to the man who had to mop up for him, David Teasley (6-1), who went 1 2/3 innings and stabilized Mercer's pitching rotation in this game. Teasley gave up only one run and prevented Elon from getting any more of a foothold.
Starting pitcher Ken Ferrer (9-6) took the loss for Elon. He surrendered seven runs, six earned, in three-plus innings. He was tattooed for nine hits in all.
Mercer now awaits the loser of the Georgia Tech-Alabama game in another elimination battle on Sunday.