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Wednesday's SoCon Baseball Championship Roundup
Courtesy: Southern Conference
Release: 05/22/2019
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No. 1 seed Samford 5, No. 8 seed Western Carolina 4 (10 inn.)

GREENVILLE, S.C. – Samford freshman Sonny DiChiara hit a walk-off home run to left field in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the No. 1 seed Bulldogs the win over the No. 8-seeded Western Carolina Catamounts, 5-4, in Wednesday’s first game of the Southern Conference Baseball Championship presented by Holston Gases at Fluor Field.

Samford (40-17) will face the winner of Wednesday’s second game between No. 4 seed Mercer and No. 5 seed Furman on Thursday at 4 p.m. Western Carolina (21-31) falls to the loser’s side of the bracket and will face the loser of Wednesday’s second game.

Despite two pitching changes made by Samford early on, both sides were held scoreless until the sixth. Immanuel Wilder led things off with a double to left field followed by a single by Daylan Nanny to right center, sending Wilder across home plate. Justice Bigbie singled to center, advancing Nanny to second before Andrew Bullock double to right to score Nanny and move Bigbie to third. A Justin Sparks single through the right side scored two more, bringing the score to 4-0.

Samford would put two more on the board in the eighth with RBIs from Branden Fryman and Brooks Carlson to put the Bulldogs within two. In the bottom of the ninth, the Bulldogs scored two more to send the game into extra innings, with Sam Teague scoring on a bases-loaded wild pitch and Ayrton Schafer coming in from third on a fielder’s choice to tie the game at 4.

It was all Samford in the 10th. In the top of the inning, relief pitcher Stephen Jones struck out the first Catamount hitter before the next batter reached on an error. Jones then forced Nanny to ground into an inning-ending double play. DiChiara finished it off for the Bulldogs in the bottom half with his home run to left field.

Western Carolina starting pitcher Chase Walter pitched eight innings, striking out seven and only giving up two runs. Samford’s Jones (3-0) was credited with the win and Western Carolina’s Jack Snyder (2-4) suffered the loss.


No. 4 seed Mercer 11, No. 5 seed Furman 2

GREENVILLE, S.C. – Both teams got on the board early but it was No. 4 Mercer who would explode later in the game to come away with the 11-2 victory over No. 5 Furman, in Wednesday’s second game of the Southern Conference Baseball Championship presented by Holston Gases at Fluor Field.

Mercer (30-26) will face No. 1 Samford on Thursday at 4 p.m. Furman (25-30) falls to the loser’s side of the bracket and will face No. 8 Western Carolina on Thursday at 9 a.m.

The Paladins’ Trent Alley got things started in the first, doubling to left center to score Dax Roper to put Furman up by one. The Bears’ Collin Price evened up the score in the bottom of the first with a single to center field to score Kel Johnson. They would then tack on one more in the bottom of the second before exploding in the third inning.

RJ Yeager and Johnson started off the inning by each reaching base on a fielding error, putting runners at first and second. Price put down a sacrifice bunt to advance both runners and Angelo DiSpigna was intentionally walked to load the bases. Alex Crotty struck out to bring up Ammons, who walked, bringing Yeager across the plate and loading the bases for Bill Knight. Knight would then smack a grand slam to left center to bring the score to 6-1, Mercer.

The Paladins would only score one more run the rest of the game, when Logan Taplett singled to left center, scoring Alley in the top of the fourth. The Bears plated four more over the next five innings.

Mercer starter Sawyer Long-Gipson (7-3) earned the win, going 6 innings and striking out eight. Furman’s John Michael Bertrand (4-6) was credited with the loss.

The SoCon Baseball Championship presented by Holston Gases continues with two more games to be played on Wednesday.

May 21 (Tuesday)
SoCon Championship presented by Holston Gases (SDN)
 (Fluor Field; Greenville, S.C.)
Game 1: #8 Western Carolina 7, #9 The Citadel 3

May 22 (Wednesday)
SoCon Championship presented by Holston Gases (SDN)
 (Fluor Field; Greenville, S.C.)
Game 2: #1 Samford 5, #8 Western Carolina 4 (10 innings)
Game 3: #4 Mercer 11, #5 Furman 2
Game 4: #3 UNCG vs. #6 ETSU 4 p.m.
Game 5: #2 Wofford vs. #7 VMI 7:30 p.m.

May 23 (Thursday)
SoCon Championship presented by Holston Gases (SDN)
 (Fluor Field; Greenville, S.C.)
Game 6: #8 Western Carolina vs. #5 Furman 9 a.m.
Game 7: Loser Game 4 vs. Loser Game 5 12:30 p.m.
Game 8: #1 Samford vs. #4 Mercer 4 p.m.
Game 9: Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5 7:30 p.m.

May 24 (Friday)
SoCon Championship presented by Holston Gases (SDN)
 (Fluor Field; Greenville, S.C.)
Game 10: Winner Game 7 vs. Loser Game 8 3:30 p.m.
Game 11: Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 9 7 p.m.

May 25 (Saturday)
SoCon Championship presented by Holston Gases (SDN)
 (Fluor Field; Greenville, S.C.)
Game 12: Winner Game 8 vs. Winner Game 9 12 p.m.
Game 13: Winner Game 10 vs. Winner Game 11 3:30 p.m.
Game 14: Winner Game 13 vs. Loser Game 12 7 p.m.

May 26 (Sunday)
SoCon Championship presented by Holston Gases (ESPN+)
 (Fluor Field; Greenville, S.C.)
Game 15: Winner Game 12 vs. Winner Game 14 12 p.m.
^Game 16: Winner Game 15 vs. Loser Game 15 40 minutes after Game 15

^ if necessary
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