MACON, Ga. (MERCER ATHLETICS RELEASE) – – The Mercer baseball team saw its at-large chances for the 2014 NCAA Tournament take a big hit following a 7-1 loss to East Tennessee State in an elimination game on day two of the Atlantic Sun Baseball Championship on Thursday afternoon at Swanson Stadium.
Mercer (38-17) lost for the second time in as many days and as a result suffered a ratings percentage index (RPI) drop from No. 38 to No. 43 after Thursday’s loss.
Juniors Chesny Young and Devin Bonin supplied most of the offense on the day for Mercer with two hits apiece.
Following a scoreless first frame, ETSU jumped on the board with four runs in the top of the second inning. An RBI double by Jordan Sanford and RBI singles by Kevin Phillips, Gage Downey and Chris Cook put the Buccaneers up by a score of 4-0.
Mercer managed to plate a run in the bottom of the third when junior Chesny Young sliced a two-out RBI double to right centerfield to make the score 4-1 ETSU.
The Buccaneers continued to swing the bats well in the top of the fourth, stringing together four-straight two-out hits to plate three more runs to take a 7-1 lead over Mercer.
The Bears struggled to cut into ETSU’s lead from that point forward, managing just one hit over the next four innings of play.
Mercer had two decent scoring chances towards the end of the game, placing runners on first and second base with two outs in the bottom of the eighth and ninth innings, but ETSU reliever Jimmy Nesselt got out of both jams to secure the win for the Buccaneers.
Junior Grant Papelian took the loss for the Bears after lasting 1.2 innings and giving up four runs on five hits.
Senior Michael Massi went 1-for-4 in the contest with a single to extend his reached base consecutively streak to 30-straight games, the longest such streak by a Mercer player since Young put together a 32-game run that started towards the end of 2013 season and ended two games into the 2014 campaign.
Mercer now has to wait and see if it receives at at-large bid for the second-straight season to the 2014 NCAA Tournament. The tournament selection show is scheduled for Monday, May 26, at noon on ESPNU.