Mercer (1-4) was held to a season-low four hits, while striking out 16 times in the contest. Tyler Homer recorded the team’s only extra-base hit and two RBI to pace the Bears.
Kennesaw State (3-1) jumped on the board first, scoring three runs in the second inning thanks to a solo shot from Alex Liquori and a pair of two-out RBI hits. The Owls added two more to their tally in the third, as a two-run home run by Colin Bennett put them on top, 5-0.
Mercer’s offense cut into the deficit in the fifth inning, after stringing together a pair of hits. Homer followed back-to-back singles by Howard Joe and Devin Bonin with a double in the gap to pull the Bears within three, 5-2.
However, Mercer was unable to climb any closer, as the Owls added insurance runs in the seventh and ninth to snap a two-game slide against the Bears.
Grant Papelian took the loss for Mercer, after giving up five runs in 4.1 innings during his season debut. Mitchell Wade tossed 1.2 scoreless frames to lead the Bears’ pitching staff, while Cam Wesolowski struck out the only two batters he faced.
Mercer returns to action this weekend, as it travels to Daytona Beach, Fla. for a three-game series with Bethune-Cookman. First pitch for Friday night’s opening game is set for 6 p.m.