ATLANTA -- The Mercer Bears baseball team still has a chance to extend its history making run in the NCAA Tournament.
And for that they can thank former Deerfield star Thomas Carroll and Bears teammate Tyler McCarty.
Mercer used 18 base hits -- three from Carroll, including a home run, and four from McCarty -- and took advantage of three Elon errors to beat the Phoenix, 13-7, to remain alive in the NCAA baseball Atlanta
Regional on Saturday afternoon.
The Bears (38-23), who won an NCAA Tournament game for the first time in school history, will play at 3 p.m. today against Alabama, which lost to Georgia Tech on Saturday.
"We had some guys step up offensively for us," Mercer coach Craig Gibson said. "We were able to get out in front and get away from them a little bit with a couple of runs and hang on for that last out and survive to play tomorrow."
Mercer was led by right-fielder Carroll, who went 3-for-4 with four RBI and that home run. Designated hitter McCarty went 4-for-5 and scored three runs. Second baseman Michael Langley was 3-for-5 and left-fielder Joe Winker was 2-for-5 with four RBI.
"It was definitely a feeling of relief to get those runs across in the first inning," Carroll said. "We just relaxed and swung the bat from there. I was pretty relaxed when I hit the (home run)."
The Bears used six pitchers who combined to allow just six Elon hits, but walked eight batters. David Teasley (6-1) earned the win in relief while Elon's Ken Ferrer (9-6) took the loss.
The Bears upped their lead to 13-5 in the bottom of the seventh when Carroll's fellow Albany native, Evan Boyd -- The Herald's 2009 Ray Knight Player of the Year -- led off the inning with a single and later scored off a McCarty single and an Elon error.
AUBURN FALLS TO CLEMSON:
AUBURN, Ala. - Clemson jumped on Auburn starter Grant Dayton for three first-inning runs while Clemson starter Casey Harman held Auburn to just two runs on five hits in a complete game effort as Auburn fell, 5-2, on Saturday night in the winner's bracket game of the NCAA Auburn Regional.
With the loss, Auburn (41-20) will face Southern Miss on Sunday afternoon at 1pm in an elimination game.
"You have to give credit to Casey Harman. He did a great job and certainly kept us off balance all day long and made some big pitches,"
Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. "You can't say enough about the job that Grant Dayton did. He gave us a chance, and that is what we ask of our starters. He was outstanding today except for an error or two, but the bottom line is that he gave us a chance to win, and unfortunately we could not get anything going offensively. Against good teams you have to be able to create some type of momentum or get something going and we certainly didn't."
Dayton (8-3) would throw a career-high 131 pitches in the loss, which was the southpaw's first defeat since a 3-2 loss at Vanderbilt on April 18. After surrendering the three first inning runs and two more in the fourth, Dayton would keep the Clemson (40-21) bats in check for the rest of his 7 2/3 innings outing, retiring 12 straight from the fourth through eighth innings before surrendering a two-out single and turning things over to reliever Sean Ray.
"Early in the game, I was struggling with my fastball. I made a couple of mistakes in the first inning, and it showed on the scoreboard,"
Dayton said. "After that, I settled in a little bit and was able to get my fastball going. I started to throw some off speed and some strikes, and I was good after that. It was just the first couple of innings that I struggled, and that was the difference for me."
On the night Dayton struck out nine while only walking one, allowing seven hits, six of which came on the first four innings.
Auburn, which tied its season low with just five hits, was held hitless over the first four innings of the game by Harman (7-2) before Tony Caldwell (2-for-4) got to the Clemson lefty with a liner over the green monster in left for his 10th home run of the season to make it 5-1 in the fifth.
The game stayed that way until Hunter Morris (1-for-3) led off the ninth with his school record-tying 22nd home run of the season.
Florida St. 6, Oregon 4
NORWICH, Conn. (AP) -- Sean Gilmartin struck out eight over seven innings and Stephen Cardullo and Sherman Johnson each hit solo home runs as Florida State defeated Oregon.
Florida State (44-17) awaits the winner of the elimination game Sunday afternoon between Oregon and Connecticut.
Gilmartin (8-7) gave up a two-out home run to Jack Marder in the first and then held the Ducks scoreless until the eighth. Geoff Parker relieved Gilmartin after KC Serna and Danny Pulfer singled to start the eighth. The Ducks (7-5) scored three runs but stranded runners at second and third when Parker struck out Andrew Mendenhall.
Connecticut 25, Central Connecticut St. 5
NORWICH, Conn. (AP) -- Mike Olt homered twice and drove in eight runs as Connecticut defeated Central Connecticut State in an elimination game in the Norwich Regional.
Connecticut (48-15), which lost to Oregon 5-3 Friday, kept its tournament hopes alive with a season-high 26 hits. Olt, a junior third baseman, went 4 for 4 and became UConn's career leader in both home runs and RBI.
Sean Allaire singled to left in the sixth for his 100th hit of the season for Central Connecticut State (33-23), which committed five errors.