MACON, Ga. – A single run in the bottom of the ninth inning broke a 2-2 tie as the Mercer Bears defeated Butler on Tuesday night. The 'Dogs tied the game with a two-run seventh inning, but were unable to win their fifth straight as they fall to 5-8 on the season.
The Bears hit a trio of singles to start the fourth inning which resulted in the first run of the game. An RBI double from Massi in the fifth would extend their lead to 2-0.
Butler came back to tie the game by recording four hits in the seventh. Mike Kseniak and Chris Maranto singled to start the action. Kseniak ran the bases well on Maranto's single through the right side, allowing him to reach third base. His hustle play paid off as Marco Caponi hit a deep sac fly to left allowing him to score the first run of the inning.
Drew Small kept the inning alive with a two-out single back up the middle of the field which led to Pittman being replaced on the hill by Glaze. The change didn't faze Marcos Calderon as he picked up an RBI single to left that scored Maranto, tying the game at 2-2.
Small ball led to the Mercer win as a sac bunt moved Madden to second base after he led off the inning with a single through the left side. A one-out single from Lewis up the middle moved Madden to third base and a fielding error off yet another sac bunt in the inning allowed Madden to score the game winning run in the bottom of the ninth.
Massi played well for Mercer at the top of the lineup gong 3-for-4 with an RBI and one run scored. Butler was led by three players as Small, Calderon and Maranto all recorded two hits.
Grant Papelian got the start for the Bears, but it was Morgan Pittman earning the win. He moved to 2-0 on the hill after tossing the final 2.1 innings vs. Butler. The 'Dogs used three arms in Tuesday's game with Jeff Schank getting the start. Schank threw 5.2 innings and struck out four batters without walking a batter. He allowed seven hits, but only surrendered two runs.
Will Schierholz and Kyle Allen also took the mound on Tuesday. Schierholz struck out three in just 2.1 innings of work, but Allen was hit with the loss as Mercer scored the go ahead run off the pinch squeeze.
These two teams will return to action on Wednesday at 3 p.m. The Bulldogs will return home to face Western Michigan this weekend in a three-game series.