JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Apr. 21, 2012) – Trailing 6-2 heading into the bottom of the seventh, the ETSU baseball team rallied with seven runs in the inning to lift the Bucs to a 13-8 victory over Mercer on Saturday at Thomas Stadium.
ETSU improves to 17-20 overall and 5-12 in A-Sun play, while knotting the series at a game apiece. Meanwhile, Mercer falls to 24-17 and 7-10 in league play.
The Buccaneers tied a season-high with 17 hits, while recording their third game of double digit runs on the year.
Will Chesney (Knoxville, Tenn.) (1-0) earned his first career victory after tossing a scoreless inning of relief. Starter John Long (Anderson, S.C.) allowed seven hits and six runs in six innings of work, while striking out seven. Clinton Freeman (Jonesborough, Tenn.) tossed the last two innings.
Morgan Pittman (0-2) was dealt with the loss after allowing three hits and three runs in just over an inning of work out of the bullpen. Starter Dimitri Kourtis gave up eight hits, four runs and two walks in 5.1 innings.
Andrew Green (Powell, Tenn.), Matthew Scruggs (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Chris Riopedre (Miami, Fla.) each had three hits to pace the Bucs offensively. Meanwhile, Freeman was 2-for-6 and tied a career-high with four RBI. Catcher Skyler Barnett (Johnson City, Tenn.) finished 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI. Meanwhile, Corey McPherson (Johnson City, Tenn.) was 1-for-2 with a triple and three RBI.
Mercer jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning on two hits. Evan Boyd, who had two hits including a homer last night, led off the frame with a solid single through the right side. After moving over to third on a sacrifice bunt and a fly out, Austin Barrett walked to put runners on the corners. Then, Daniel McMillan ripped the 1-0 pitch from Long deep to center field for a two-run double.
ETSU got on the scoreboard in the third thanks to three hits in the inning. Cory Betterson (Atlanta, Ga.) got the rally started with a one-out single through the left side. Green and Scruggs followed with back-to-back singles to load the bases. Freeman recorded an RBI ground out to trail 2-1.
The Bucs tied the score in the fourth inning on an RBI double by Barnett. Riopedre led off the inning with a single through the left side and then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Zach Thompson (Johnson City, Tenn.) Then, Barnett laced the 1-0 pitch from Kourtis into the gap in left center for his first hit of the season and to knot the game at 2-2.
Mercer regained the lead in the fifth thanks to a two-run double by Chesny Young. Nate Moorhouse led off the inning with a base-hit and later stole second. With one-out in the inning, Boyd walked to put runners on first and second. Then, Young drilled the 2-2 pitch to the left center gap to drive in both runners and to give the Bears a 4-2 advantage.
The Bears added two more runs in the sixth on three hits. Jamie McMillan started the inning with a single up the middle and then moved over to second on a sacrifice bunt. Derrick Workman followed with an RBI double to left center. Then, with two-outs in the inning, DJ Johnson singled to left field to drive in Workman and give Mercer the 6-2 lead.
Thompson got the Bucs off to a good start in the bottom half of the sixth with a leadoff single to right field. Barnett followed with his second hit of the day and Betterson advanced both runners into scoring position with a perfectly executed sacrifice bunt. Then, lightning was detected in the area, which forced an hour delay. After the delay, Mercer went to Pittman out of the bullpen. Green greeted the new pitcher with an RBI single to center field. With runners on the corners, Scruggs brought home Barnett with an RBI single through the left side – making the score 6-4.
The Bucs busted the game open in the seventh inning after plating seven runs on four hits with four walks in the frame. Freeman recorded a two-run single in the inning. Meanwhile, McPherson drilled a bases loaded triple into left center to drive in three runs. Riopedre capped off the Buccaneer scoring in the frame with a RBI double down the right field line.
Mercer pushed across two runs in the top of the eighth on a two-run double by Young. The Bears had two hits and were aided by an ETSU error in the inning.
ETSU added two insurance runs on three hits in the bottom of the eighth. Betterson led off with a ground-rule double to left center. Green followed with an RBI single right up the middle to extend the lead. After Green stole both second and third, Freeman recorded an RBI single through the right side to give the Bucs a 13-8 lead.
Young led Mercer at the plate as he finished 3-for-4 with four RBI. Meanwhile, McMillan and Workman each had two hits for the Bears.
The rubber game of the series between ETSU and Mercer will begin at 1:05 p.m. tomorrow. The Bucs will send right-hander Kerry Doane (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) to oppose Mercer lefty David Randall.
- Clinton Freeman has now reached base in 31 consecutive games, while extending his hitting streak to 11 games. He also tied his career-high with four RBI.
- The 17 hits by the Bucs tied a season-high. ETSU also pounded out 17 hits against Saint Joseph’s on February 24.
- The win was the first for the Bucs when allowing their opponent to score more than six runs. ETSU was previously 0-11 when its opponent scores more than six.
- The Bucs are now a perfect 3-0 when scoring 10 or more runs this season.
- Dylan Pratt walked four times in the game. The last time a Buccaneer walked four times was on March 4 of last year when Paul Hoilman earned four free passes against USC Upstate.
- Corey McPherson set a new career-high with three RBI in the game.
- Skyler Barnett tied a career-high with two hits and an RBI
- Chris Riopedre recorded his first career three-hit game, while tying his career-high of two runs and an RBI
For more information on ETSU baseball, please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the baseball link.