College baseball: Mercer takes down No. 1 Florida in Gainesville, notches third straight win over Gators
GAINESVILLE, Fla. –– Robert Broom tossed six innings of scoreless relief and a pair of freshmen combined for five runs batted in as Mercer defeated No. 1 Florida 6-4 at McKethan Stadium on Tuesday.
The Bears (29-14) notched their third straight victory over Florida (34-9) dating back to 2006. Florida has been ranked in the top 10 nationally – including No. 1 twice (2006, 2018) – in all three of the teams' most recent meetings.
Freshmen RJ Yeager and Le Bassett combined for five RBIs, including three in a pivotal game-tying third inning that helped propel the Bears to the midweek win. Mercer was out-hit 9-7 but made the most of its opportunities against four Gator pitchers.
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A solo home run by Yeager led off the third inning and jumpstarted a three-run frame for the Bears. After Yeager's long ball cut Florida's lead to two, Bassett deposited a two-run double into the left-center gap that scored Jackson Ware (walk) and JT Thomas (single).
Sawyer Gipson-Long limited Florida to one hit over the second and third innings to bridge the gap to Broom, who closed out the Gators with a career performance on the mound. The junior allowed just four hits over a career-long six innings while striking out 12 batters. He issued just one walk as well.
Mercer plated the go-ahead run in the top of the fourth when Yeager executed a safety squeeze bunt to score Kyle Dockus, who led off the inning with a single and advanced third base on a throwing error and single by Alex Hanson. The Bears added an insurance run in the eighth when Sean McDermott doubled down the left-field line to score Cory Wright, who pinch-ran for Bassett, from first base.