Mercer’s late rally comes up short in 7-6 loss at ETSU

Mercer’s late rally comes up short in 7-6 loss at ETSU

The Mercer baseball team got behind early and couldn’t generate enough offense to mount a late comeback as it fell 7-6 to East Tennessee State on Friday evening at Thomas Stadium.  
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (MERCER ATHLETICS RELEASE)  – The Mercer baseball team got behind early and couldn’t generate enough offense to mount a late comeback as it fell 7-6 to East Tennessee State on Friday evening at Thomas Stadium.

With tonight’s loss, Mercer (37-15, 17-9 A-Sun) has now lost back-to-back Atlantic Sun Conference series for the first time since March of 2012.

The Bears racked up a season-high seven extra-base hits in the contest (4 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR) led by junior Nate Moorhouse who fell just a single shy of the cycle after going 3-for-4 with a double, triple, home run and three runs scored.

Mercer got off to a quick start offensively as seniors Michael Massi and Sasha LaGarde led off the game with back-to-back singles, with Massi coming home courtesy of a wild pitch to give the visitors an early 1-0 lead.

Massi’s single in the first extended his reached base consecutively streak to 27 games, the longest such streak by a Mercer player since junior Chesny Young put together a 32-game run that carried over to the start of this season.

The Bears added to their lead in the top of the second when a lead-off triple by Moorhouse was followed up by a sacrifice fly by senior Austin Barrett to make the score 2-0.

ETSU came storming back on the bottom of the second, however, using a three-run home run by Gage Downey to take a 3-2 lead.

With the score now 4-2, Mercer remained within striking distance when Moorhouse clubbed a solo home run, his second long ball of the season, to left field to make the score 4-3 ETSU.

After plating a run in the bottom of the fifth, the Buccaneers got another big hit when Jordan Sanford hit a two-RBI double to left center in the bottom of the sixth to increase their lead up to 7-3.

That would be just enough run support for Buccaneers reliever Clinton Freeman as Mercer mounted one last charge in the top of the ninth.

Following a solo home run by freshman Kyle Lewis and back-to-back RBI doubles by freshman Charlie Madden and Massi, the Bears set up a dramatic final play of the game. With Massi on second base and the score now 7-6 ETSU, LaGarde ripped a single to right field, but Massi was gunned down at the plate thanks to a perfect throw by Buccaneers right fielder Tyler Roach to end the game.

Mercer and ETSU wrap up their three-game series Saturday afternoon with a scheduled 1 p.m. first pitch at Thomas Stadium.

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