Ads rally to beat Mercer

March 31, 2004|MIKE MARSEE

HARRODSBURG - The Danville Admirals didn't get everything they wanted out of their season opener, but they still got what they wanted most.

After falling behind three innings into its first game, Danville rallied with five runs in its final at-bat Tuesday to defeat Mercer County 7-4.

"We definitely have a lot of things to work on, but you'll take any kind of win you can get, especially early in the year," Danville coach Paul Morse said.

The Admirals got this win when a combination of three hits, two walks and two Mercer errors gave them the big inning they needed to overtake Mercer before darkness overtook them.


The game was moved from Anderson-Dean Community Park to Mercer's field, then played largely in a light rain before it was called after five innings.

"I knew we were down, but we've got guys who can make good, clutch hits," said senior Deshaun Warren, who was 2-for-2 at the plate and had a two-run single in Danville's five-run fifth inning. "We just relaxed and stayed focused and hit like we know we can hit the ball."

Mercer coach Jeremy Shope said the Scotties gave Danville far too much help.

"We just had too many walks and too many errors," Shope said. "I felt like we should've won that ballgame today. They didn't beat us by hitting the ball all over the ballpark; we beat ourselves with so many errors."

Durham's homer sparks Danville

Mercer was leading 4-2 and the game was two outs from being official when Danville started cutting into that lead with a solo home run to left field by Deangleo Durham.

"I think the big turning point was Deangleo's home run," Morse said. "That kind of loosened everybody up a little bit."

Warren said that homer made the Admirals forget that they were probably looking at their last chance as darkness moved in.

"That took a lot of the pressure off of us," Warren said.

Justin Morgan, the third of five Mercer pitchers, gave up the home run and followed with consecutive walks to Davis Teater and C.J. Lynn.

After a pitching change, Joey Beldon got his second hit, a single to left field off Kameron McRay to drive in Teater, and Beldon and Lynn got an extra base when the ball was misplayed.

Warren then connected on a 3-2 pitch for a two-run single that put Danville in front, capping a game in which he doubled and scored the Admirals' first run in the second inning, then walked in the fourth.

"Deshaun had a great game," Morse said. "That's what I expect from our seniors."

Ryan Funkhouser reached on an error that scored another run, and Nate Uslin singled home the final run of the inning.

Mercer's rally falls short

Mercer tried to put together a rally of its own in the bottom of the fifth, putting runners on first and third before Danville's Jeremy Potts struck out Chris Lewis to end the game.

The Scotties scored three runs in the third to take a 4-2 lead when Morgan stole home, Michael Bottoms scored on an error and Lewis singled in a run.

"We're young, and I feel like we'll get better as the year goes on," Shope said. "Danville's supposed to be one of the better teams in the region, and I feel like we're not far behind them."

After that inning, Morse gathered his starters a few feet down the right-field line to try to light a fire under them.

"We struggled early, and we got on them a little bit," Morse said. "We're playing a lot of young guys, but we've got a lot of guys with baseball experience, and they played like they were afraid to make mistakes."

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