Spring Sports Recap: Mar. 17-Mar. 29
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After a rough start to the season, the Mercer baseball team seems to be back on track after beating the University of Georgia in two midweek games and sweeping the East Tennessee State Buccaneers in the first conference series of the year.
In their first meeting with the UGA Bulldogs, the Bears offensively overpowered the SEC team, with a final score of 16-4. In the win, both Danny Edgeworth and Charlie Madden recorded homeruns, while eight other players added hits throughout the game. Grant Papelian received the win for the Bears for allowing only one run in 5.2 innings pitched. In the teams’ second meeting, the Bears once again came out victorious, even though the Bulldogs made a run in the final innings of the game. Ryan askew allowed four runs in his 5.2 innings pitched and received the win for the Bears. Both Devin Bonin and Kyle Lewis recorded homeruns in the 12-8 victory.
In the team’s conference opener against the ETSU Bucs, Eric Nyquist recorded a shutout in the 2-0 win. The Bear’s bats were swinging in the second game of the series with an 11-5 win over the Bucs. Mitchell Wade recorded the win for the Bears because of his 2.2 innings of scoreless relief pitching. Trey Truitt, Bonin and Lewis all recorded homeruns in the win. The third game of the series was a nail biter, but the Bears came out victorious for the sweep. In the 10-9 win, Lewis recorded another home run, while newcomer Jose Hernandez added his first homerun of the year. Morgan Pittman picked up the win after 2.1 scoreless innings.
In their second conference series, the Bears traveled to Greenville, S.C. to take on the Furman Paladins. Mercer went 2-1 on the weekend, which gives it a 5-1 record in conference play.
On March 27, Nyquist snatched the win for the his outstanding pitching, while Howard Joe and Madden combined for five RBIs in the 9-5 win. The Bears continued their winning streak with an impressive 11-1 to win against the Paladins on Saturday. Papelian threw seven scoreless innings with only three hits. For his efforts, Papelian received Southern Conference Pitcher of the Week for the first time in his career. Bonin and Ware were the offensive powerhouses for the Bears after both recorded a home run.
The team’s seven-game winning streak snapped on Sunday afternoon after the Paladins pulled out an 8-4 win over the Bears. Askew received his third loss of the season, while Joe recorded another home run.
For their next conference series, the Bears will travel to Charleston, S.C. to take on The Citadel.
Going into its first Southern Conference series, the Mercer softball team was on a nine game winning streak after defeating Michigan State, Youngstown State, Alabama A&M, Alabama State and Savannah State.
The Bears recorded four shutouts against four different teams because of strong pitching from a number of different team members. Kristen Steven recorded three of the shutouts, while freshman Megan Bilgri recorded one.
The team’s powerful offense also helped the Bears during their winning streak. The team enforced the run-rule in four different games over this stretch. The Bears’ offense has been lead by both Natalie Shiver and Riley Carter. Both players lead the team in hits and home runs.
In their first conference series, the Bears went 2-1 against the Western Carolina Catamounts, which broke the Catamounts’ 10 game win streak. In the opening game, the Bears came out victorious 3-2. Stevens once again received the the win, putting her at 16-6 on the season. She produced seven innings of work, only allowing seven runs and two hits. Both Meghan Rud and Taylor Rogers recorded doubles in the win.
The Bears dropped their second game of the day in a close 6-5 game. Five of the Catamounts’ runs came in the first inning when freshman Bilgri couldn’t handle the heat. Anna O’Neill relieved her after one inning, but the Bears could not come back from there.
In the final game of the series, the Bears overcame the Catamounts 3-1 because of late offense in the sixth. Stevens recorded another win for the Bears after allowing seven hits and only one run in her seven innings pitched. Rodgers recorded a double, while Caroline Taylor and Kaytlin Haney added runs as well.
The Bears return to their conference play on April 3 against the Furman Paladins.
Although the Mercer men’s lacrosse team started its season on a rough note, it seems to have redeemed itself with a 2-0 Southern Conference start.
The Bears’ first win against High Point University was an overtime victory with the final score being 12-11. Both High Point and Mercer scored with under two minutes left in regulation play, forcing them into overtime. The Panthers had the first shot on goal during overtime play, but goalkeeper Mike Nugent made the save, keeping the Bears alive. Freshman Scott Baird finally found the back of the net with only 1:47 left in overtime play. Nugent recorded 20 saves for only the second time this season, while Baird, Chris Rahil, Chris Gibson, Jackson Kleintz, Ben Lesane and Timmy Geran recorded goals for the Bears.
The team’s second Southern Conference victory also came in overtime play against the Furman University Paladins. In the 11-10 victory, Kleintz netted the overtime goal, giving the Bears a 2-0 conference record. Nugent recorded 10 saves, while Justin Evans, James Fromert, Matt Quinn, Geran, Lesane and Baxa netted goals in the win.
In another close conference game, the Bears came out victorious against the Bellarmine Knights 8-6. Rahil recorded his first-career hat trick to lead the Bears to their third-straight conference victory of the season. Baxa, Kleintz, Lesane and Baird also added goals to the win. Nugent recorded an impressive 15 saves on 21 attempts in the win and five of these saves were in the first quarter. Senior Justin Wood was a crucial defensive component for the Bears after he forced three turnovers in the win.
The Bears will continue their conference schedule on April 4 in Lexington, Va. against the VMI Keydets.
The Mercer women’s lacrosse team picked up its third win of the season against the Gardner-Webb Bulldogs. In the overpowering 15-2 win, nine different players scored for the Bears, with Hannah Blair recording three individual goals and Lindsey Zeltwanger netting two of her own. Goalkeeper Haleigh Wurzel had three saves in the first half, while Michele Holmes had six in the second.
Wrapping up their nonconference schedule, the Bears suffered a devastating 15-14 loss against the Presbyterian Blue Hose. Erica Coyne, freshman offensive leader for the Bears, led the team with a record-setting six goals in the loss. Erica Leone, Jillian Bailey, Holly Berns and Meghan Segreti also added goals for the Bears. In the loss, Wurzel picked up two saves in the first half, while Holmes rounded out the second half with three saves.
In their first Atlantic Sun match of the season, the Bears fell to the Detroit Mercy Titans 15-8. Once again, Coyne led the Bears with three goals of her own, while Kate Christian, Tori Blakeman and Lindsey Zeltwanger also added goals to the scoreboard. Wurzel recorded 11 saves in her full 60 minutes of play. The Titans outshot the Bears 36-19 and Mercer also had nine more turnovers than Detroit.
In their second conference match, the Bears were defeated by the Furman Paladins 15-7. Leone led the Bears offensively with four goals, while Coyne, Zeltwanger and Berns all added goals as well. Wurzel had 16 saves in the loss and also added a season-high of three turnovers in the loss.
The Bears will return to Five Star Stadium on April 2 to take on Old Dominion.
The Mercer women’s tennis team opened their Southern Conference play with a 0-2 record after being defeated by the Western Carolina Catamounts and the Wofford Terriers.
In their SoCon debut against the Catamounts, the Bears were defeated 4-3. Roxy Bartz and Liza Klyachkin picked up wins in their singles matches, while pairs Grace Korta/Roxy Bartz and Haley Powell/Liza Klyachkin added wins for the doubles portion of the match.
The Bears also suffered a close 4-3 loss against the Terriers in their second conference match. Xandra Fougner and Powell recorded wins for their singles matches. In the doubles matches Grace Korta/Roxy Bartz and Haley Powell/Liza Klyachkin came out victorious once again.
In a midweek non-conference game, the Bears were overpowered by the Lamar Cardinals 6-1. Laura Kelly recorded the only win for the Bears in the single matches, while pair Grace Korta/Roxy Bartz added a win for the doubles category.
The Bears’ seven game losing streak continued against the ETSU Buccaneers with a 7-0 loss. There was not a single Bear that could pull out a win against the Bucs. The Bears fall to 0-3 in conference, while their overall record remains at 4-13.
After an extremely difficult non-conference schedule, the Bears opened their conference play with a 4-3 victory over the University of North Carolina-Greensboro Spartans. In their first Southern Conference win, Sam Philip, Manuel de Luis and Arsav Mohanty added wins in the singles matches for the day. In doubles play, both pairs of Austin Emmet/Oliver Snaider and Sam Philip/Anderson Scarpa also recorded wins for the Bears.
In their second conference match of the season, the Bears were edged 4-3 by the Furman Paladins, making their conference record 1-1. Arnav Mohanty, Oliver Snaider and Arsav Mohanty added wins in the singles column, while the Mohanty twins also recorded a win in the doubles portion of the match.
In a midweek game, the Bears took on instate rivals, Georgia Southern University. The Bears survived the Eagles, with the final score being 4-3. Philip, Scarpa and Arsav Mohanty recorded wins in their single matches, while pairs Austin Emmet/Oliver Snaider and Sam Philip/Anderson Scarpa also defeated the Eagles in the doubles matches.
After traveling to Spartanburg, S.C., the Bears defeated the Wofford Terriers 4-3 for their second conference win of the season. Philip, Arsav Mohanty and de Luis came out victorious in the singles matches, while pairs Austin Emmet/Oliver Snaider and Sam Philip/Anderson Scarpa defeated the Terriers in the doubles matches.
The Bears will return to conference play on April 3 to take on the Chattanooga Mocs in Tennessee.