The Titans (0-1) were unable to overcome their early sloppy play Monday night dropping their season opener to the Anderson County Bearcats (1-0), 5-3.
Mercer committed their four errors of the game in the first three innings as the Bearcats jumped out to a 4-0 lead.
“Im not ready to push the panic button by no means,” said Mercer head coach Jeremy Shope. “I thought we came out a little nervous being opening day. We’ve got some new guys out there and it’s just going to take some time to gain some confidence and get over that nervousness.”
Mercer showed confidence in the bottom of the third inning with Seth Heath hitting a two run double, cutting Anderson County’s lead in half, 4-2.
The Titans pulled to within a run in the bottom of the fifth inning when Russel Sims was brought home on a John Ingram line drive to center field. Ingram was thrown out at second base and the Titans entered the sixth inning down, 4-3. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Mercer had the tieing run at third and the go ahead run at second with one out, but were unable to drive them in and remained down, 4-3 going into the finals inning.
“You want to score those runs when you have an opportunity,” said Shope. “I think that type of stuff is going to come with time and experience, but I know we are going to be just fine.”
Ingram gave up his only earned run of the game in the seventh inning before Mercer called on J.T. Long to close out the inning.
“I though Ingram pitched a really good game,” said Shope. “He got us a lot of ground balls that we didn’t take advantage of. He did exactly what we wanted him to do and what we though he would do for us we just didn’t back him up as well as we are capable of.”
Mercer was unable to get a runner on base in the seventh as the Bearcats got the win, 5-3.
“We dug ourselves a hole early giving up four unearned runs,” said Shope. “But I like the way we competed and battled back. Give Anderson County credit, they are a good, experienced team and I think this was a good early test for us.”