The baseball team has been busy with Southern Conference opponents the past two weeks. The Bucs played a series against the Wofford Terriers on Easter weekend, and traveled to Macon, Georgia, the following weekend to take on the Mercer University Bears.
The Bucs were able to top Wofford with one win, and a cancelled game, while Mercer got the best of the team, sweeping the three-game series.
The Bucs hosted the first contest against Wofford on Thursday, April 18. Senior Micah Kaczor (Washington, D.C.) put on a performance, pitching eight innings and only allowing one run on seven hits, ending with a 5-0 record on the mound.
Junior Jackson Greer (Knoxville, Tennessee) got the Bucs rolling in the game with a three-run homer, while Sean Kearney (Powell, Tennessee) knocked a solo home run. With the Bucs’ homeruns, they were able to take control of the first game with a 7-1 victory.
Game two saw the Terriers with momentum on their side. Wofford’s pitcher Austin Higginbotham kept the Bucs from scoring, only giving up two runs. Cullen Smith (Lebanon, Tennessee) was able to hit a solo home run in the final inning, but it wasn’t enough to push past the Terriers as they fell 10-4.
Game three of the Wofford series was canceled due to weather.
The Bucs then traveled to take on Mercer. Game one was close, with the Bears taking the win at 5-4.
The Bucs carried a 4-1 advantage over the Bears until the eighth inning. Mercer came away with a four-run inning to give them the lead until the end.
Smith led in the game with a single and a home run. Junior Ethan Cady (Soddy Daisy, Tennessee) and sophomore David Beam (Knoxville, Tennessee) each had a double, with Beams bringing in two runs.
The next two games in the series saw Mercer continue their stride. The Bucs started out with a run lead in the early part of game two, but the Bears slowly came back. The Bucs were one run within tying the game at four, until the Bears drove in two runs to secure the 6-3 win.
Mercer closed the series with a shutout victory 6-0, marking the first sweep of the season over the Bucs.
Despite the loss, Smith has a positive attitude about the season.
“It is a great program to play for, and there’s always room for improvement,” said Smith.
The Bucs still have hopes of bringing in a SoCon title. There are still many more games to play as the SoCon tournament sits a month away. The Bucs stand at 27-14 with a conference record of 7-7.
The Bucs host SoCon rival UNC-Greensboro next with another three-game series.