J.T. Long hit a walk-off home run to give Mercer County a dramatic win in the regional title game Thursday night and send the Titans to the state baseball tournament for the second consecutive year.
Long’s two-run homer gave Mercer a 7-5 victory over Danville in the title game at Admiral Field.
Mercer (23-12) will play the 7th Region champion — St. Xavier and Male are playing for that title tonight — in the first round of the state tournament at 1:30 p.m. Monday at Whitaker Bank Ballpark in Lexington, where the Titans made a memorable run to the state finals a year ago.
One-out singles by Alex Guay and John Ingram set the stage for a four-run seventh inning after Danville (31-10) had scored once in the top of the inning to take a 5-3 lead.
Seth Heath slipped a single into right field, and Guay scored on the hit and pinch-runner Chris Goodman scored on a throwing error to tie the game. Long jumped on the next pitch from Danville’s Andrew Lasure, launching it well beyond the fence to the right of the scoreboard in left-center field.
The win set off a wild celebration by the Titans, who lost eight seniors from last year’s title team, then repeated by reinventing themselves, changing from a team that scored runs in bunches to one that relied on pitching and defense.
Return to amnews.com or pick up the Advocate on Friday for expanded coverage of tonight’s game.