Alex Hanson led the way for the Mercer Bears, as he went 4-5 with three RBIs, which included a solo home run, three runs scored, and two stolen bases, as the team outlasted the Bradley Braves 11-10 at Claude Smith Field at OrthoGeorgia Park Friday night.
Mercer was up 3-0 after the first two innings due to two RBI doubles from Danny Edgeworth and J.T. Thomas in the first and a solo home run from Hunter Bening in the second, but in the top of the third Bradley would bounce back and take a 4-3 lead thanks to two run-scoring triples and a wild pitch that scored run.
That lead would not last long as in the bottom of the third, Matt Meeder hit an RBI sac fly, Hanson hit a double that scored two and Thomas hit an RBI single to give Mercer a 7-4 lead.
Neither team would score until the bottom of the sixth, when Madden scored on a sacrifice bunt by Bening.
Mercer's lead would be cut in half in the top of the seventh after Bradley's Andy Shadid hit a two-run home run, but the Bears responded immediately with two solo home runs by Trey Truitt and Hanson in the bottom of the inning.
An RBI double from Bradley's Ian Kristan and a two-RBI single from the Braves' Andrew Ivelia in the top of the eighth would pull Bradley within one, but Mercer would add an insurance run in the bottom of the inning on an RBI groundout from Bening to make the score 11-9.
Bradley added one more run in the top of the ninth on a sac fly from Luke Mangieri, but it was not enough as Mercer took home the 11-10 win.
The Bears will take the diamond at OrthoGeorgia Park Saturday against the Braves for the second games of the teams' three-game weekend series. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. You can listen to the game on the Mercer Radio Network.