Mercer Baseball Honors Seniors, Wins 8-4
Saturday, May 6, marked a special day for the Titans baseball program. In their home game against the Wolverines of Western Hills, the Titans celebrated senior day, pausing to recognize the accomplishments and contributions of their 2023 senior class. Before the start of the game, seniors Evan Hart, Jonathan Logdon, Andrew Sheperson, Seth Caton and manager Brianna Merriman were honored for their service to the program.
Sheperson recorded two quick outs in the first inning from the pitcher’s mound, after giving up a single to the lead-off hitter to start the game. With two outs and a runner on second base, Western Hills’ fourth hitter of the inning hit a hard ground ball right at the hot corner (third base) and the out was made at first.
The Titans wasted little time jumping on the scoreboard when it was their turn to hit in the bottom of the first. Shortstop Logdon singled to left field stole second base, and scored after a display of savvy baserunning- giving the Titans a 1-0 lead. With two outs, senior first baseman Hart was hit by a pitch, then subsequently advanced to second after forcing a wild pick-off throw. He was driven in by freshman second baseman Carter Devine, pushing the Titans’ lead to 2-0. Before making their third out, the Titans managed one more run in the bottom of the first, as freshman outfielder Ayden Stephens singled to right field and brought Devine across the plate. The Titans eventually made their last out, and brought a 3-0 lead into the second inning.
Sheperson retired the Wolverine offense with ease in the top half of the second and brought the Titans back to the plate. After a quick out, sophomore outfielder Andrew Tatum was hit by a pitch and gave the Titans a baserunner to work with. This brought up Seth Caton to hit. Tatum swiped second and third base and went on to score. A Logdon single gave the Titans two baserunners, which Sheperson capitalized on by putting a ball in play and allowing one runner to cross the plate. The Titans finished the inning with one final run when Logdon read a ball in the dirt to score on a passed ball, bringing the Titan lead to 6-0.
After Sheperson left a lead-off single-stranded, recording three straight outs on the mound to start the third inning, Mercer looked to continue its dominance at the plate. Stephens led off the inning for the Titans and reached on an error by Western Hills’ third baseman. Junior outfielder Will Johnson followed in his footsteps, reaching by an error on the following play. This put sophomore catcher Brayden Campbell into a position to score a run when he did his job and hit a ground ball to the right side of the infield. The Titans ended up making two more quick outs, finishing the inning up 7-0 on the scoreboard.
After a few sloppy innings in the field for Mercer, Western Hills crept their way back into the game, notching four runs and limiting the Titan lead to just three. With a total score of 7-4, the Titans put pressure on themselves to find some insurance for relief pitcher Logdon, and they did just that. Mercer County was able to get a quick baserunner when Campbell was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Tatum followed this up with a beautiful bunt single down the third base line, but not before courtesy runner Cohen Sanford stole second base, to put runners on the corners with one out for the Titans. In the following at-bat, freshman third baseman Noah Worthington did enough to score a much-needed insurance run for the Titans, hitting a ground ball to the infield for a second out.
The Titans are back in action when they host the first round of the district tournament against the Burgin Bulldogs on Monday, May 15.