ATHENS – Mercer fell behind early and suffered a 13-3 loss to No. 4 nationally-seeded Georgia in the 2019 NCAA Baseball Championship Athens Regional on Friday night at Foley Field.
The Bears (35-28) will face FAU (40-20), the Athens Regional's second-seeded team, in an elimination game at 1 p.m. (ET) on Saturday. Mercer dropped to 1-7 all-time in NCAA regional play.
Trouble arrived early for Mercer as the Bulldogs (45-15) plated eight runs in the home half of the first inning. Mercer starter Tanner Hall left the game with a 3-0 deficit and the bases loaded, having recorded just two outs. Georgia tagged Hall and Jackson Kelley – the Bears' first reliever of the game – with a two-run home run and a grand slam, respectively, in the inning.
The Bulldogs extended their lead to 13 by the end of the third. Kyle Dockus hit his first home run of the season, a three-run shot, in the top of the seventh to cut the Bears' deficit to 10 – he finished the contest 3-for-4 to lead Mercer offensively.
Mercer received quality relief work on the mound from a trio of freshmen, Will Bowdoin, Holton McGaha and Josh Farmer. Bowdoin retired all six batters he faced and fanned three over the fifth and sixth frames while McGaha worked around one walk to strike out a pair in the seventh. Farmer, while allowing two hits, held Georgia scoreless for a fifth consecutive inning in the eighth.
» #4 Mercer: 35-28
» #1 Georgia: 45-15
Pitchers of Record
» Win: Tony Locey (11-2)
» Loss: Tanner Hall (8-6)
» Friday marked Mercer's eighth NCAA regional game. The Bears are 1-7 in regional play.
» Friday was the first time since 2017 that Mercer and Georgia have played.
» Kyle Dockus' home run was his first this season and second of his career. He hit one in 2018.
» The trio of Will Bowdoin, Holton McGaha and Josh Farmer struck out eight total batters in the sixth through eighth innings.
» Prior to Friday's game, Mercer had won six of the last seven games against Georgia dating back 2011.
Mercer will face second-seeded FAU in an elimination game at 1 p.m. (ET) on Saturday at Foley Field. The Owls (40-20) fell to No. 3 Florida State, 13-7, in the first game of the Athens Regional on Friday.