MACON, Ga. - After struggling in the Sunshine State over the weekend, the Mercer baseball team's offense came alive in a 10-2 home win over Alabama State on Tuesday evening at Claude Smith Field.
Mercer (26-10) had four extra base hits in the win and pounded out 10 or more hits as a team for the 22nd time this season.
Mercer got off to a quick start in Tuesday night's tilt with a three-run bottom of the first inning. An Alabama State error, an RBI single by junior Nick Backlund and an RBI double by junior Austin Barrett pushed the Bears out to an early 3-0 advantage.
With the score 4-1 going into the bottom of the fourth, junior lead-off man Sasha LaGarde showed the home faithful why Mercer is the best power hitting team in the country. LaGarde pulled the first pitch he saw from Alabama State starting pitcher Anthony Ricciardi over the fence in right center for the Bears nation-leading 37th home run of the season to make the score 6-1 in favor of Mercer.
The Bears would tally four more runs over the next three innings of play, capped by an RBI single by senior Travis Benn, to complete the scoring in the game at 10-2.
Sophomore Dimitri Kourtis got the start for Mercer and was brilliant in his four predetermined innings of work. The Alpharetta, Ga. native allowed seven hits while striking out three to earn his first win of the 2013 season.
LaGarde finished 2-for-5 and tied his season-high with three RBI while Barrett also went 2-for-5 with two doubles and a run scored in the win.
Mercer is back in action this weekend when it welcomes No. 24 Florida Gulf Coast to Macon for a three-game series starting on April 12. First pitch on Friday evening is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Claude Smith Field.