Bucs fall in series opener with Mercer, 10-8
Shane Byrne hit his sixth home run of the season against Mercer.
Shane Byrne hit his sixth home run of the season against Mercer.

Friday, April 14, 2006

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 14, 2006) - The Mercer offense battered Buccaneer junior starter Ryan Howe (Spartanburg, S.C.) for 10 runs in 4 1/3 innings pitched, and its bullpen pitched out of numerous late inning jams, posting a 10-8 Atlantic Sun Conference victory Friday evening at Cardinal Park.

 

Trailing 6-1 entering the bottom of the second inning, the Bucs rallied for five runs to knot the game at six.  Senior Chuck Hargis (Powell, Tenn.) led off the inning with a double to right field, and following a line out and a strike out, sophomore Anthony Russell (Waldorf, Md.) lined a single to left field plating the second Buc run.  Senior Matt Traylor (Knoxville, Tenn.) followed with a bunt singe, and after a walk junior Stephen Douglas (Kennesaw, Ga.) cleared the bases with a three-RBI double to center field.  C.J. Lee (Bristol, Va.) tied the contest with a single to center.

 

After the Bears (23-17, 10-6) plated single runs in the third and fourth innings, Byrne brought the Bucs within one run with his sixth homer of the year.  Leading off the fourth inning, Byrne hammered the first pitch from Mercer starter Brantley New over the right field wall.

 

Senior Blake Church (Roswell, Ga.) led off the eighth inning with a solo blast to eighth, his conference lead-tying ninth of the season, to pull the Bucs to 10-8, but they could get no closer.

 

The Bucs (21-15, 8-8) stranded 16 runners for the game, including 12 over the final five innings; twice leaving the bases loaded over that span.

 

Howe surrendered 10 runs in 4 1/3 innings of work, falling to 3-3 on the season.  New was far from dominant, giving up seven runs and 11 hits in five innings, but was effective enough to improve to 7-2 on the year.  Andrew Urena pitched the final two innings for his 10th save.

 

The two teams conclude the weekend series with a doubleheader Saturday afternoon at Cardinal Park.  First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.

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