Travis Dean put on a show at the mound for the Owls, but the effort was not enough as KSU fell to Mercer 5-1 on Saturday.
The starting pitcher kept the Bears off the board early, allowing the Owls to take the lead on their lone run of the ballgame in the bottom of the first. Bo Way fired a single to left field, and was then driven in by Chris McGowan after stealing second. Way’s hit extended his 14-game hitting streak.
The early 1-0 lead carried KSU in the fifth inning, where Mercer’s Logan Gaines drove home the tying run with a RBI single. The tie rejuvenated Mercer, who cashed in twice in the sixth inning and added a pair in the eight to cap the 5-1 win.
“Offensively we just weren’t able to put a threat together,” said KSU head coach Mike Sansing “That’s been our story most of the season and it showed up again today.”
The Owls struggled offensively as they failed to find the same success they had at the plate on Friday night’s contest where they collected 12 hits. Against the Bears on Saturday, the Owls were only able to register five hits, all singles.
Dean was spectacular for the Owls despite giving up two earned runs and five hits. The loss dropped his record to 2-3. However, the starter recorded eight strikeouts.
“He had some cut on his fastball that was working for him,” added Sansing of his starting pitcher. “We felt like they were swinging and missing a good bit on the fastball. He did well; we just weren’t able to give him run support.”
With the loss, the Owls fall to 9-10 overall. KSU will have to come out strong against their remaining Atlantic Sun opponents, as the Owls now are 0-2 in conference play.