Mercer Baseball Wins Region Bid, Defeats Burgin 13-3
The Mercer County Titans will be making an appearance in the 12th Region tournament for the third straight year under Head Coach Cody Christopher, after defeating Burgin Independent in the first round of district play on Monday evening, May 15. After locking up the one-seed in the regular season, the Titans simply needed to make the district championship game to qualify for a region bid. The only thing standing in the Titans’ way was the Burgin Bulldogs.
Mercer started the game blazing hot, as senior Jonathan Logdon asserted his dominance on the mound-sitting down the first three hitters that came to the plate in just nine pitches. A bystander would assume after watching the first half of the inning that fans would be in for a pitching duel; however, Lodgon’s team made it clear that they weren’t going to leave him hanging with the offense when they came into the dugout to hit.
After three runs were scored by the Titans off of an error, a few walks and a hit by pitch, the bats started to come alive. Senior right fielder Andrew Sheperson swung at the first pitch he saw and singled on a ball in the six-hole, pushing teammate freshman Carter Devine across the plate for the fourth run of the inning. In the next at-bat, freshman centerfielder Ayden Stephens waited back and ripped a line drive to right field, scoring Noah Worthington and Cohen Sanford, further extending the Titan lead to 6-0. Following a stolen base by Stephens on the following pitch, sophomore Andrew Tatum squared up a ball and pulled another line drive to right field scoring both Sheperson and Stephens. Soon after, the Bulldogs collected their third out, sending the ballgame into the second inning with the Titans up 8-0.
The second inning flew by, as both pitchers had very successful innings. Logdon for the Titans continued to shut down Bulldog hitters, while new pitcher Lougé for Burgin settled into his groove. However, in the third inning, the tides began to shift.
After recording a quick out to start the third, Mercer allowed a walk and an error to put two runners on base for the Bulldogs. Burgin wasted no time taking advantage of these mistakes when Quiroz singled to right field, bringing in a run. The next two Burgin hitters were hit by a pitch, forcing one more run across the plate, giving the Bulldogs their second run of the inning and narrowing the lead to 8-2 before the third out could be made. The Titans made no noise in the bottom half of the inning, caving slightly to the momentum put forth by the Bulldogs.
The Titans’ defense responded in the top half of the fourth, as Logdon reclaimed his mound sitting down the top three Burgin hitters of the inning in order. Following a lead-off walk to freshman third-baseman Worthington, Lodgon launched a ball deep to right field for a triple, scoring Worthington. Four pitches later, Logdon read a ball in the dirt and scored- pushing the Titan lead to 10-2. On the next pitch, sophomore catcher Brayden “Bacon” Campbell drew a walk, allowing Sheperson to come to the plate with a runner on base. After touching first base, Campbell was replaced by his courtesy runner, Cohen Sanford. Sanford wasted little time making his mark, stealing second base on the first pitch. Now with a runner in scoring position, Sheperson smoked the next pitch he saw for an easy RBI double to center field. Three outs later, the Titans took an 11-2 lead into the fifth.
The Titans will be back in action when the Region tournament starts on Monday, May 22, where they look to win their first 12th Region title for Head Coach Cody Christopher.