JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 8, 2016) – Due to inclement weather, the ETSU baseball series opener with Mercer was suspended on Friday night at Thomas Stadium. The game will resume Saturday at 2 p.m., with Mercer leading, 5-3, in the top of the eighth inning.
The Bears led from the start as they plated a pair of two-out runs in the top of the first inning, while Mercer, picked up additional two-out clutch hitting in the third and fourth innings to go ahead, 5-0. Ben Upton belted a two-out solo home run to right field in the third, while two-out RBI singles by Kyle Lewis and Ryan Hagan extended Mercer’s lead to, 5-0.
ETSU’s bullpen silenced the Bears offense – which leads the country in home runs – from the fifth inning on, as senior right-hander Griffin Krieg (Nashville, Tenn.) got out of a bases loaded jam in the fifth and junior left-hander Jamin McCann (Kingsport, Tenn.) registered a pair of scoreless innings in the sixth and seventh.
With the Buccaneer bullpen getting the job done, ETSU’s offense slowly chipped away at its deficit as senior Kevin Phillips (St. Louis, Mo.) connected on a solo home run in the fourth, while the Blue and Gold added two runs in the seventh to pull within two, 5-3. Like Mercer, the Bucs did their damage with two outs in the seventh as Robby McCabe (New Port Richey, Fla.) started the rally with a single to left and later scored on Hagen Owenby’s (Knoxville, Tenn.) RBI single. Trey York (Knoxville, Tenn.) – who reached via a nine-pitch walk earlier – came around to score on Aaron Maher’s (Brentwood, Tenn.) RBI single to left.
However, with the Blue and Gold rallying, Mother Nature rolled in – and after waiting out a 45-minute rain delay – the umpires suspended play in the top of the eighth inning.
McCann was on the hill warming up, while right fielder Trey Truitt was due up for the Bears in the eighth.
Following the conclusion of the suspended game, the teams will play game two of the series on Saturday. First pitch of that game will approximately be 45 minutes after the suspended game. Senior right-hander Lee Haeberle (Hendersonville, Tenn.) is scheduled to start game two of the series, while Mercer has yet to name its starting pitcher.
For more information on Buccaneer baseball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the baseball link.