MACON, Ga. (School Release)- The No. 24 Mercer baseball team received a quality start from junior DJ Johnson, but a seven-run eighth inning by Lipscomb carried the visitor's to a 8-4 series finale win on Sunday afternoon at Claude Smith Field.
Despite the loss, Mercer (32-11, 12-6 A-Sun) still won the weekend series against Lipscomb (14-27, 4-11 A-Sun) by virtue of capturing the first two games of the three-game set and still remain alone in second-place in the Atlantic Sun Conference standings with just a month remaining in the regular season.
Both teams struggled offensively over the first three innings of the contest, as Johnson and Lipscomb's Will Blalock combined to allow just one single over that stretch.
The Bears bats finally got going in the bottom of the fourth, however, using RBI singles by seniors Logan Gaines and David Reid-Foley and a wild pitch by Blalock to take a 3-0 lead.
Everything looked great for the home team from there, as Johnson cruised through the first seven innings of the game, allowing only one run.
Lipscomb changed all that when Johnson came back on the field to start the top of the eighth. The Bisons chased Johnson after a two-run home run by freshman Austin Sistrunk and piled it on with five more runs off Mercer relievers to take an 8-3 lead when all was said and done.
Mercer tried to mount a late rally, but a solo home run by junior Nick Backlund was all it could muster against Lipscomb relievers Denton Norman and Tyson Ashcraft.
Johnson ended up with a no-decision in the contest, throwing seven innings and allowing three earned on five hits to go along with a career-high eight strikeouts.
Mercer has one day off before its back on the road in Tallahassee for a mid-week contest against Florida A&M on April 23. Game time is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Moore-Kittles Field.