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Thursday night SoCon baseball championship roundup
Courtesy: Southern Conference
Release: 05/23/2019
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Wofford's Colin Davis
Courtesy: Wofford Athletics

No. 1 Samford 11, No. 4 Mercer 0

GREENVILLE, S.C. – Redshirt junior right fielder Jordan Fucci hit for the cycle and freshman third baseman Preston Moore hit his first career grand slam to lead No. 1 seed Samford past No. 4 seed Mercer 11-0 on Thursday at the Southern Conference Baseball Championship presented by Holston Gases at Fluor Field.

The Bulldogs (41-17), who matched their school record for wins, remain in the winners’ portion of the bracket and will face either No. 6 seed ETSU or No. 2 seed Wofford on Saturday at noon. Mercer (30-27) drops into the losers’ bracket and will face No. 3 seed UNC Greensboro in an elimination contest Friday at 3:30 p.m.

Samford put the game out of reach early. Fucci’s RBI double got the scoring started in the first inning, with Anthony Mulrine following with a single to drive in Brooks Carlson to make it 2-0.

The Bulldogs then blew the game open with a five-run third, with Moore following Taylor Garris’ RBI infield single with a grand slam over the Green Monster in left field to make it 7-0.

Fucci, who singled in the third, hit a solo home run in the fourth to make it an 8-0 game. The Lexington, Kentucky, native completed his cycle with a triple to lead off the ninth, putting the finishing touches on Samford’s first cycle since 2016.

Garris and Moore drew consecutive bases-loaded walks later in the frame and Branden Fryman added an RBI single for the final margin.

Fucci finished 4-for-5 with two RBIs and three runs, while Fryman was 4-for-6 with a run and an RBI. Garris and Moore had two hits each for the Bulldogs, with Moore finishing with a game-high five RBIs.

Kel Johnson had two of Mercer’s five hits on the evening.

Samford starter Jesse McCord improved to 6-1 on the season, allowing just three hits and a walk and striking out six in 7 innings of work. Mercer starter Kevin Coutler (5-3) was tagged with the loss after allowing seven earned runs on 10 hits in 2 1/3 innings.

No. 2 Wofford 2, No. 6 ETSU 1 

GREENVILLE, S.C. – No. 2 seed Wofford got a tie-breaking solo home run from Colin Davis in the top of the seventh inning and a big relief effort from Rasesh Pandya to down No. 6 seed ETSU 2-1 in Thursday’s nightcap of the Southern Conference Baseball Championship presented by Holston Gases at Fluor Field.

The Terriers (35-23) will stay in the winners’ bracket and will face No. 1 seed Samford on Saturday at noon. ETSU (33-20) drops into the losers’ bracket and will face No. 5 Furman in an elimination game on Friday at 7 p.m.  

After ETSU tied the game at 1 in the bottom of the sixth, Davis put the Terriers ahead to stay with a 436-foot blast that landed atop the building beyond the Green Monster in left.

Pandya was the hero the following inning, relieving starter Hayes Heinecke with runners on second and third with no one out. The junior right-hander, playing in his hometown, proceeded to strike out the next three batters to get the Terriers out of trouble before working a 1-2-3 ninth to nail down his second save of the season.

Hudson Byorick started off the fourth for the Terriers by reaching first on a throwing error by ETSU shortstop Jake Lyle. Two outs later, Davis would hit a hard double down the left-field line, scoring Byorick to put the Terriers up 1-0.

Jake Lyle would double in the bottom of the sixth for the Bucs to score David Beam, who had reached base off a single up the middle, tying up the game at 1.

Both starting pitchers went deep into the game. Wofford’s Heinecke (10-2) went 7 innings, striking out nine and only allowing one run on six hits. ETSU’s Landon Knack (9-4) went 8 innings, recording eight strikeouts and allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits. Both combined for only two walks the entire game.

The SoCon Baseball Championship presented by Holston Gases continues Friday with games at 3:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.

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: #6 ETSU 4, #3 UNCG 2
Game 5: #2 Wofford 12, #7 VMI 7

May 23 (Thursday)
SoCon Championship presented by Holston Gases (SDN)
 (Fluor Field; Greenville, S.C.)
Game 6: #5 Furman 9, #8 Western Carolina 7                 

Game 7: #3 UNCG 4, #7 VMI 2                                      
Game 8: #1 Samford 11, #4 Mercer 0
Game 9: #2 Wofford 2, #6 ETSU 1 

May 24 (Friday)
SoCon Championship presented by Holston Gases (SDN)
 (Fluor Field; Greenville, S.C.)
Game 10: #3 UNCG vs. #4 Mercer                                  3:30 p.m.

Game 11: #5 Furman vs. #6 ETSU                                  7 p.m. 

May 25 (Saturday)
SoCon Championship presented by Holston Gases (SDN)
 (Fluor Field; Greenville, S.C.)
Game 12: #1 Samford vs. #2 Wofford                              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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