Mercer comes back to beat Garrard 10-8

April 16, 2004|MARTY WARREN

LANCASTER - The Mercer County Scotties didn't let blowing a three-run lead bother them until they fell behind by three runs themselves entering the seventh inning.

Then they let their bats do their talking.

Visiting Mercer blew leads of 3-0 and 5-3 and trailed 8-5 entering the seventh frame, but it used three hits and two errors to score five runs before Garrard recorded its first out and rallied to defeat the Golden Lions 10-8 here Thursday.

Mercer, which has won six of its last seven games to even its record at 6-6, began the seventh with a single by Evan Ethington and Blake Yeager reached on an error. John Wickliffe walked to load the bases before Michael Bottoms singled sharply into left field to drive in Ethington.

Potts single puts Scotties ahead

Kameron McRay also singled to left to plate Yeager and pull the Scotties to within one run at 8-7 before Andy Potts singled to drive in two more to give the Scotties the lead. Mercer scored its final run on another Garrard error.


Garrard sophomore starter Matt Hume had thrown 99 pitches entering the seventh, and Garrard coach Brad Woods allowed him to throw 120 pitches before pulling him in favor of Jordan Johnson with no outs.

"He said he was good to go when I went out to talk to him," Woods said. "I have a lot of faith in him and support him in telling me that. But Mercer started finding the gaps in our defense and we made a couple costly errors that really hurt us. I hate it for Matt. He pitched a heck of a game and we deserved a better fate than what we got."

Meanwhile, Mercer coach Jeremy Shope was glad to see his team come from behind to win a game.

"We have been in a lot of close games this year and the outcome hasn't always been like this," the Mercer coach said. "The kids didn't panic because they have been in these situations before. We have lost games to some good teams and have played a tough schedule. Playing that type of schedule helped us today. We were just waiting for that one big inning and fortunately we got it before it was too late."

Mercer has one runner picked off, two others thrown out

About the only thing that the Scotties didn't do well was run the bases. They had one runner picked off and twice had runners thrown out trying to gain an extra base.

"We're going to be aggressive," Shope said. "That's the only way we know to play. We will make mistakes, but we'll just have to learn from them."

Mercer scored three times in the third to grab a 3-0 lead as RBI singles by Yeager and Bottoms plated two runs and the Scotties added a third run on the back end of a double steal.

Garrard rallied in its half of the inning. T. Ellis reached on an error and Brandon Merriman was hit by a pitch and both runners scored on singles by Jacob Denny and Zach Doan.

The Scotties got those runs back in the fourth on Joe Collins' first home run of the year and Garrard tallied once in the fourth on a RBI single by Chris Clark.

Garrard takes lead in fifth

The Lions (3-7, 0-1) gained the lead at 7-5 in the fifth off Mercer starter Bottoms on singles by Denny, Kyle Ayers, Hume and Clark, an error and sacrifice fly by Jamison Flynn.

The Golden Lions added a run in the sixth, but ran themselves out of a potential big inning when Ayers was caught off third on an attempted double steal.

That set the stage for Mercer's seventh inning rally.

Bottoms went 5 2/3 innings before being relieved by John Wickliffe. Bottoms gave up all eight runs (six earned) on 10 hits, walked four, hit two batters and struck out four.

Hume took the loss and gave up 10 runs on 12 hits, walked four, hit three batters and struck out five.

Ethington, Yeager, Wickliffe, Bottoms and Potts led the Scotties with two hits each while Ayers collected three hits for the Lions. Denny, Hume and Clark added two hits each.

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