baseball

Mercer Takes Double-Dip from ECU

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GREENVILLE, N.C. - Mercer erupted for four runs in the seventh inning to erase a two run deficit and scored again in the ninth to take the night cap of a Friday double-header 7-5 over (8)ECU in Clark-LeClair Stadium. It was the Pirates’ first non-conference series loss since 2009.

Hunter Bening’s double down the left field line off of ECU reliever Joe Ingle in the top of the seventh scored a run and moved Edgeworth to third. After a pair of strikeouts, Ingle yielded two more runs when Hanson singled through the right side scoring Bening and Edgeworth to give Mercer a 5-4 lead. Later in the same inning, Hagen doubled to right scoring another run to make it 6-4.

Charlie Madden stretched the Bears’ lead to 7-5 with a single down the left field line on ECU’s Davis Kirkpatrick, scoring Trey Truitt in the top of the ninth stanza.

“They came out and swing the bats and we didn’t have an answer for them. Nobody out of the bullpen could put up enough zeros. We had more opportunities than in the last game,” said ECU head coach Cliff Godwin, “It’s a team effort. If people want to blame somebody, they can blame me because I’m the one doing the coaching.”

“If we’re not going to pitch, we’ve just got to do more," Godwin said, "We’re a team and we’ve got to find ways to win. You’ve got to find ways to hold the leads and in the last three innings we didn’t do that.”

Zach Graveno (2-0) picked up the victory for the 16-4 Bears. Kevin Coulter got his first save of the season for Mercer while Joe Ingle got the loss for ECU who falls to 13-6.

The Bears got on the scoreboard first in the top of the second inning when Danny Edgeworth doubled down the left field line scoring J.T. Thomas for an early 1-0 lead.

Spencer Brickhouse got ECU on the scoreboard with a homer to right field off of Mercer lefty Austin Cox in the bottom of that same inning. Then Eric Tyler scored when Wes Phillips singled to short to give ECU their first lead of the ballgame.

Mercer knotted the contest at 2-2 in the top of the fifth when Alex Crotty’s single to right scored Edgeworth.

Brice Harman got into the act in the sixth inning for ECU with his first RBI of the year. Travis Watkins and Turner Brown scored a pair of Pirate runs on the single to left center. That chased Mercer pitcher Andrew Cane out of the game and gave ECU a 4-2 lead.

It could have been worse in the sixth, but a Travis Watkins’ snap throw from home plate to first got the third out to end the frame with the bases full of Bears.

ECU closed to within one on Turner Brown’s line drive homer over the right field wall on Mercer pitcher Zach Gravino made it 6-5 after seven innings.

GAME ONE

Mercer scored three runs to break a tie game in the top of the ninth and held on to beat (8)East Carolina 10-7 in game one of the Friday double-header at Clark-LeClair Stadium.

J.T. Thomas’ sixth RBI of the day and 25th for the season came when he homered to left field in the top of the ninth off of Matt Bridges. That scored a pair of runs to give Mercer a 9-7 lead.

Ryan Ross came on with two outs in the top of the ninth in relief of Bridges. Edgeworth then singled to score Ware from second base to extend the lead to 10-7.

Robert Broom picked up the victory to move to 2-1 on the season while ECU’s Matt Bridges took the loss for the Pirates to fall to 0-1 on the year.

The Pirates got on the scoreboard first in the bottom of the opening frame when Travis Watkins singled to center off of Mercer pitcher Ryan Askew and Charlie Yorgen scored to give ECU an early 1-0 lead. Eric Tyler then singled to score Watkins and make it 2-0 Pirates.

J.T. Thomas’ two-run homer to left field in the second inning tied the game at 2-2 for the Bears.

Mercer(15-4) was at it again in the fourth when a Danny Edgeworth grounder to short scored Charlie Madden to make it 3-2. But T.J. Riles scored for the Pirates on a fielding error to shortstop Ryan Hagen to tie the contest in the bottom of the inning.

Spencer Brickhouse got things cooking for ECU again with a two-run shot to left field in the bottom of the fifth frame that gave ECU a 5-3 lead.

But the Bears remained hot in the sixth offensively when first baseman Hunter Benning’s single plated two more runs to tie the contest at five apiece.

ECU(13-5) kept the pressure on when Riles scored again. Then Turner Brown reached on a fielder’s choice that scored Bryce Harman.

Thomas tied the game for Mercer at 7-7 on a double to left that scored Madden and Alex Hanson. Then the Pirates left three runners stranded with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh.

A double-steal put men on second and third for Eric Tyler in the bottom of the eighth for ECU and Tyler then walked to load the bases for the fourth time in the contest. But ECU was unsuccessful for the fourth straight time with the bases full of Pirates in a 7-7 game entering the ninth inning.

Before the second game, record setting ECU wide receiver Zay Jones threw out the first pitch and then PirateIllustrated.com caught up with Jones to talk about the upcoming NFL Draft and more.

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