Nationals

Smith scores 24 as Mercer beats SC-Upstate 82-74

Smith scores 24 as Mercer beats SC-Upstate 82-74

MACON, Ga. (AP) Travis Smith scored 24 points to lead Mercer to an 82-74 win over South Carolina-Upstate on Saturday.

Smith shot 7 of 10 from the floor and made all eight of his free throws for the Bears (12-8, 5-2 Atlantic Sun Conference), who won their second straight game. Bud Thomas and Jakob Gollon each scored 12 points.

Mercer went into halftime with a 36-29 lead, and then took more control in the second half. The Bears went on a 9-2 run, capped by Monty Brown's layup to claim a 47-35 lead with 14:58 remaining.

Chris Smith knocked down two free throws with 7:58 left to give Mercer a 60-44 lead - its largest of the game. It was enough cushion to outlast the Spartans (9-10, 3-3), who pulled no closer than eight points the rest of the way.

Ty Greene and Torrey Craig each scored 22 points for South Carolina-Upstate.

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Nationals manager Dave Martinez remains in Washington for further testing

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Nationals manager Dave Martinez remains in Washington for further testing

Davey Martinez remained in Washington for further medical testing, the Nationals announced Monday. Bench coach Chip Hale will manage the team Monday night instead.

Martinez left Sunday’s series finale against the Atlanta Braves in the sixth inning because he was not feeling well. He went to a local hospital for further examinations upon the recommendation from Nationals medical staff. They said at the time they expected Martinez to join the team in St. Louis, though they did not specify when.

Hale, 54, joined the Nationals’ staff as bench coach when Martinez was hired ahead of the 2018 season. The Baltimore Orioles interviewed him this offseason for their open managerial position.

Hale has replaced Martinez following each of Martinez’s ejections this season.

Hale managed the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2015-16, where his teams went a combined 148-176. He’s also been the third base coach for the New York Mets, the bench coach for the Oakland A’s, and even a Triple-A manager. Prior, Hale was a part-time major leaguer for seven seasons.

The Nationals open a three-game series Monday night in St. Louis. They have a 1 ½-game lead for homefield in the Wild-Card Game. They are just 2 ½ games in front of Milwaukee for a postseason berth. Just 14 games remain in the season. 

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