"I'm disappointed that we lost the game, but I was really pleased with the way we swung the bats," Mercer coach Jeremy Shope said. "We were able to score 10 runs, and when you score that many you ought to win the game. Danville answered by hitting four home runs and we made several key errors and they capitalized on them."
Mercer plated three runs in the first inning on only one hit. Blake Yeager and Michael Bottoms reached on walks and Kameron McRay's single scored Yeager. The Scotties would score twice more on a wild pitch and on the back end of a double steal to lead 3-0.
Danville scored twice in its half of the first to trim the lead to 3-2. The Ads collected three hits, including an RBI double from starting pitcher Rich Witten, but Mercer helped Danville's cause with a pair of errors to score the other run.
"We can play good defense," Shope said. "We have all year. Today just wasn't our day, though. We made errors that we don't normally make."
Mercer received a double from Bottoms and singles by McRay and Joe Collins in the third and Bottoms scored when Andy Potts walked with the bases loaded. Mercer scored twice more on a fielder's choice and error to lead 6-2.
Danviile closed the gap to 6-5 via the long ball in the third when Witten connected on his seventh home run of the season and Hawkins hit a two-run shot two batters later.
"Ronnie has really been swinging a hot bat after we moved him to fifth in the batting order," Danville coach Paul Morse said. "Seven of his 11 home runs have come in the last three weeks."
Mercer's Evan Ethington doubled to lead off the sixth inning and reached third on a Yeager infield single. Ethington scored on a fielder's choice and two batters later McRay doubled again to score two more runs. Mercer's final run of the inning came on a bloop single off the bat of Potts.
Danville knotted the score in the seventh on a pair of sacrifice flies from Jeremy Potts and Joey Beldon, and a RBI single from Witten.
The Ads' winning rally in the eighth began when Hawkins, who led the Ads with four hits, reached on a bloop single to center and stole second. After Davis Teater was intentionally walked, C.J. Lynn put down a perfect sacrifice bunt to advance the runners. Deshaun Warren was intentionally walked to load the bases, and Funkhouser ended the game with a sacrifice fly to center field.
"We did a really nice job one through nine getting on base today," Morse said. "We've had only one game in our last 12 games that we have had less than 12 hits. We are beginning to come around with our bats. We did the little things today like bunt runners over, and that helped us get back in the game. We've come from behind two days in a row, and that's a sign of a good team."
Mercer County 30300400-10134
Danville 203020 31- 11 16 2
John Wickliffe, Andy Potts (5), Justin Morgan (8) and Morgan, Michael Bottoms (5); Rich Witten, Deangelo Durham (3) and C.J. Lynn. WP-Durham (7-1). LP-Potts (3-5). 2B-Witten (D), Evan Ethington (MC) 2, Bottoms (MC), Kameron McRay (MC) 2. HR-Witten (D), Ronnie Hawkins (D) 2, Lynn (D).