JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Apr. 22, 2012) – Starting pitcher Kerry Doane (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) tossed his first career complete game to lead the ETSU (18-20, 6-12 A-Sun) baseball team to a series clinching win over Mercer, 7-2, Sunday afternoon at Thomas Stadium.
Doane (4-2) was sensational as he earned the victory after allowing just six hits and one earned run, while walking just one and striking out five in just 90 pitches. David Randall (2-4) was dealt the loss after giving up six hits and five runs (four earned) in 6.1 innings of work.
Dylan Pratt (Johnson City, Tenn.), Chris Riopedre (Miami, Fla.) and Cory Betterson (Atlanta, Ga.) had two hits apiece to lead the Bucs offensively. Pratt was 2-for-4 with a grand slam and a career-high four RBI. Catcher Skyler Barnett (Johnson City, Tenn.) had an RBI for the second consecutive game as he finished 1-for-3.
Mercer (24-18, 7-11 A-Sun) took an early lead in the second inning after pushing across a run on one hit and an ETSU error. Derrick Workman got it started with a leadoff infield single, but was later retired at second on a fielder’s choice by Logan Gaines. Gaines stole second and the throw got through the infield – allowing Gaines to reach third. Nate Moorhouse followed with a sacrifice fly to center field to put the Bears in front 1-0.
ETSU responded with two runs of its own in the bottom half of the inning. With one-out in the inning, Riopedre singled through the right side. After advancing to second on a passed ball, Zach Thompson (Johnson City, Tenn.) walked to put runners on first and second. Then with two-outs in the inning, Barnett delivered an RBI single to right field, which was misplayed allowing Thompson to score as well – giving the Bucs a 2-1 lead.
The Bucs added another run in the fourth on a hit and a Mercer error. Riopedre led off the inning with a perfect bunt single down the third base line, and advanced into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Thompson. Corey McPherson (Johnson City, Tenn) dropped down a well-executed safety squeeze bunt down the first base line, while also reaching base, thanks to errant throw to first by the pitcher.
ETSU broke the game open with four more runs in the bottom of the seventh. Betterson singled to right field, while Andrew Green (Powell, Tenn.) was walked. Both runners then advanced into scoring position on a double steal. Clinton Freeman (Jonesborough, Tenn.) walked to load the bases. After Mercer brought in DJ Johnson out of the bullpen, Pratt stepped up to the plate and belted the first pitch he saw deep over the left field wall for a grand slam, giving the Bucs a 7-1 lead. It was Pratt’s 14th home run of the season and first grand slam of his ETSU career.
Bears catcher, Evan Boyd answered the grand slam by hitting a solo home run in the eighth, to get Mercer to within five at 7-2. However, Doane finished off the complete game with a 1-2-3 ninth to clinch the victory.
Boyd and Moorhouse led the Bears at the plate with a hit and an RBI each.
ETSU will hit the road on Tuesday for a mid-week non-conference game against Furman. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m.
- Clinton Freeman has now reached base in 32 consecutive games, after reaching on an error in the third inning.
- ETSU improves to 15-1 this season when allowing its opponent to score fewer than four runs. The Bucs are now 9-2 this season when scoring more than six runs.
- Dylan Pratt’s grand slam was the first for the Bucs since March 12, 2010 when Derek Trent hit one against SIU Edwardsville.
- The complete game by Kerry Doane was the third for Buccaneer pitching this season. John Long tossed complete games against Indiana and USC Upstate.
- Mercer still leads the all-time series against ETSU, 19-9.
For more information on ETSU baseball, please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the baseball link.