After the most successful season in school history which included 28 wins, a 12 game winning streak, a 46th District and 12th Region Championship before it was ended in the State Tournament finals with a loss to Central Hardin, 21-2, the Titans are reloaded and ready to take another run at the state title in 2012.
“Even though we lost eight seniors, our one and two starting pitcher and a lot of our offensive production, we’re still excited about this year’s team,” said Mercer head coach Jeremy Shope. “Every season our goal is to put ourselves in position to make a run in the state tournament and this season is no different.”
The Titans replace the eight seniors from last year’s team with eight more seniors this season who are eager to prove they are just as talented as their predecessors.
“This is an excellent chance for this year’s senior class to show what they are made of,” said Shope. “They are eager to keep the tradition of this program and the success we achieved last season going, while creating their own legacy.” Behind a strong senior class, the Titans field five juniors, eight sophomores and one freshman.
“We are a very deep team this year. We have guys fighting for a starting spot at several positions which will only help us improve as the season progresses,” said Shope. “That depth will also give us a lot of flexibility with our lineup. So if one guy isn’t getting the job done we’ll have someone ready to step in and get a chance to show what they’ve got.”
Mercer will be on the road more than they are home with 15 away games including tournaments and 13 home games. Even with more away games than home, Mercer still has a favorable schedule with a five game road trip late in the season being the only span of back to back away games the Titans face.
The Titans open the season at home against the Bearcats of Anderson County, Monday, Mar. 19 at 5:30 p.m. It will start a grueling opening stretch of six games in six days that includes Lincoln County, Boyle County, Danville and a double header against Prestonsburg and Letcher County Central Saturday, Mar. 24.
“Our tough schedule will only make us better in the long run,” said Shope. “I’ve told the team that the season isn’t a sprint, but a marathon. We aren’t trying to be the best team in the state after the first week, but at the end of the season.”