The ETSU baseball team took on the Mercer Bears in a cold set of tournament games last weekend.
The Bucs are ranked fourth in the Southern Conference, while Mercer is ranked third. The teams played three games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Friday night’s opening game was suspended at the top of the eighth inning due to inclement weather. With Mercer leading the Bucs 5-3, the game was set to resume Saturday at 2 p.m. Forty-five minutes after the game ended, the Bucs and the Bears faced off in game two of the three-game series.
During the first inning of the first game, Mercer took a 2-0 lead against the Bucs.
The 2-0 score was held until the top of the third when the Mercer Bears made it home again, changing the score to 3-0.
ETSU was struggling to get hits and struggling to get on base against the Mercer defense and pitcher.
Mercer brought in two runners, leaving the score at 5-0. ETSU senior Kevin Phillips (St. Louis, Mo) hit a home run to left field, which finally put ETSU on the scoreboard.
The bottom of the seventh allowed the Bucs to plate two more, seniors Robby McCabe (New Port Richey, Fla.) and Trey York (Knoxvile, Tenn.) The game was suspended at the top of the eighth with the score at 5-3, Mercer.
Continuing on Saturday, the Bucs sent two home, including McCabe, who scored his fourth homerun of the season. This decreased the Bucs’ deficit to 7-5 at the bottom of the ninth.
They ultimately fell in game one to the Bears, 7-5.
Saturday’s game two was scoreless until the bottom of the third inning, when Caleb Longley (Cleveland, Tenn.) scored his first homerun of the season and the first point of the game.
The third inning ended with the Bucs leading Mercer 1-0 until the middle of the fourth.
Mercer’s first lead of the game came during the fourth inning when they brought in three players, making the score 3-2. In retaliation, the Bucs brought in two. With regained momentum, ETSU lead Mercer, 4-3.
The fifth inning proved big for the Bucs. Mercer brought one home, but ETSU brought home three, leaving 7-4 at the half.
Sophomore Aaron Maher (Brentwood, Tenn.) held the Bucs at the top of the sixth inning. The bottom brought another home run for sophomore Hagan Owenby (Knoxville, Tenn.,) his ninth of the season, which extended the Buc lead 8-4.
During the eighth inning, Mercer regained the lead, scoring seven runs in one inning. At the bottom of the eighth, senior Kevin Phillips scored again, hitting another home run. With Mercer holding an 11-9 lead, the game was proving to be intense. The Bucs ultimately fell to the Bears, 12-9.
In the last game of the series, the Bucs attempted a comeback late in the game, narrowing the Mercer lead after a grand slam. However, the Bucs couldn’t take the lead and fell 9-8, losing the series 3-0.