ETSU baseball splits doubleheader with Mercer to take series
Sunday, March 29, 2009

MACON, Ga. (March 29, 2009) - The Bucs took game one of a doubleheader against Mercer to win its fifth straight, 12-8, but could not complete the sweep as ETSU dropped the final game of the series at Claude Smith Field in Macon, Ga., 10-5.


ETSU is now 12-11 on the season and 5-7 in league play while Mercer goes to 8-12 on the year and 4-5 in conference.


In the first game, senior Ben Allen (Kingsport, Tenn.) put the Bucs on the board early as he singled through the left side of the infield driving in right fielder Cory Betterson (Atlanta, Ga.) and left fielder Troy Mendez (Roswell, Ga.) to take a 2-0 lead. Catcher Derek Trent (Kingsport, Tenn.) and designated hitter Chris Rankhorn (Gallatin, Tenn.) added two more runs in the inning as Trent drove in first baseman Paul Hoilman (Johnson City, Tenn.), and then Rankhorn drove in Allen as he singled to center to make the score 4-0 Bucs.


Mercer cut into the ETSU lead in the bottom of the third as Sean Olenek came in to score on a Bo Reeder (Cookeville, Tenn.) error to cut the lead to 4-1.


The Bucs added some insurance in the top of the fourth as Mendez drove a ball over the fence in right for his first grand slam and his fifth home run of the season as he extended the lead to 8-1. Later in the inning, Allen doubled in Reeder to increase the Buccaneer lead to 9-1.


ETSU scored two more runs in the top of the fifth as Mendez picked up his fifth and sixth RBI's of the game doubling in Garrett May (Roswell, Ga.) and Betterson to make the score 11-1 Bucs.


Mercer narrowed the gap in the bottom of the sixth as Steven Karwatt hit a grand slam to left cutting the ETSU lead to 11-5.


The Bears added two more runs in the bottom of the seventh on a May error and a Karwatt grounder to short to make the ETSU lead 11-7.


Joe Winker continued the Mercer rally in the bottom of the eighth driving in a run on a sac fly to right to make the score 11-8.


Mendez added a little insurance in the top of the ninth as he singled in Matthew Scruggs (Knoxville, Tenn.) to increase the lead to 12-8.


Freshman Josh Gonzaga (Davie, Fla.) earned his first win on the season as he went 6.1 innings allowing seven runs (five earned) on nine hits with two walks and struck out a season high five batters. Mercer started Dan April (1-3) was tabbed with the loss after only throwing one inning.


In the second game, the Bears jumped out in front in the bottom of the first on a Tyler McCarty grounder and a Jacob Tanis sac fly to take a 2-0 lead.


Danny Petro (Atlanta, Ga.) tied things at 2-all in the top of the second as he crushed a two-run home run over the fence in left.


Mercer jumped back in front in the bottom of the third on a Winker sac fly to take a 3-2 lead. The Bears scored two more runs in the inning on a grounder by Karwatt and a double steal attempt to extend the Bears' lead to 5-2.


Karwatt continued his hot hitting in the bottom of the fifth as he extended the Mercer lead to 8-2 with a three-run home run to left. Casey Stuart added another run in the inning on a RBI single to make the score 9-2.


Allen cut into the Mercer lead in the top of the sixth as he doubled to left scoring Hoilman to cut the lead to 9-3.


In the top of the eighth, Allen drove in his second run of the game as he singled in Reeder to cut the Bears advantage to 9-4. ETSU added another run on a Petro grounder to first scoring Trent to make the score 9-5.


Nick DiMauro got a run back for the Bears in the bottom of the eighth as he single to right driving in a run to extend the Mercer lead to 10-5.


ETSU was led offensively by Mendez and Allen as Mendez was 4-for-6 in game one with seven RBI, while Allen was 5-for-9 on the day with five RBI and scored three runs. Cory Betterson also had a good first game as he was 3-for-3 scored three runs and stole three bases.


The Bucs are back in action Tuesday at 7 p.m. as the Bucs will host in-state rival Tennessee at Cardinal Park. Please visit for more information on ETSU baseball and all other Buccaneer athletic news.


Game 1: ETSU 12, Mercer 8 (March 29, 2009 at Macon, Ga.)
ETSU............ 400  520  001   - 12   14     3   (12-10, 5-6 A-Sun)

MU................. 001  004  210   -  8    12     0   (7-12, 3-5 A-Sun)

Pitchers: ETSU - Josh Gonzaga; Darren Caldwell (7)

MU - Dan April; James Kimsey (2); Michael Shaw (4); Brandon Love (5)
Win - Josh Gonzaga (1-2) Loss - Dan April (1-3) 

HR - ETSU - Troy Mendez (5)

MU - Steven Karwatt (3)


Game 2: Mercer 10, ETSU 5 (March 29, 2009 at Macon, Ga.)
ETSU............ 020  001  020   -  5      8      3   (12-11, 5-7 A-Sun)

MU................. 203  040  01x    - 10   12     3   (7-12, 4-5 A-Sun)

Pitchers: ETSU - Dustin Plumlee; Drew Story (5)

MU - Justice French; J.T. Odom (7); Blake Mainor (8)
Win - Justice French (1-0) Loss Dustin Plumlee - (2-4)

HR - ETSU - Danny Petro (5)

MU - Steven Karwatt (3)