Wofford outlasts Mercer in 16-14 shootout

Published: May. 26, 2023 at 12:18 AM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - In a heavyweight bout between the No. 3 Wofford baseball team and the No. 2 Mercer Bears at the Southern Conference Baseball Championship Presented by Holston Gases, both sides came out swinging haymakers in the Thursday night tilt, but it was the Terriers who prevailed 16-14 at Fluor Field. Wofford improves to 39-17 while Mercer drops to 32-24.

The two teams combined for 30 runs on 39 hits. The 39 base knocks tied the SoCon Tournament single-game record for combined hits. With 11 combined doubles, the squads set a new single-game tournament record for two-baggers. All 18 of the starters between the teams notched at least one hit in the game.

Lucas Mahlstedt (6-2) earned the win in relief for Wofford after tossing the final 1.2 innings. He allowed just one run on four hits with three strikeouts.

Mercer starter Colton Cosper (4-5) was saddled with the loss after surrendering seven runs (six earned) on nine hits in 2.0 innings.

Five Terriers recorded a multi-hit game, led by Brice Martinez with four. He added a pair of runs driven in. Marshall Toole and David Wiley each tallied three and an RBI. Adding in his first game against UNCG, Toole totaled seven hits on the day. Wiley clobbered another home run in this contest after hitting one in the earlier affair against the Spartans. Trey Yunger and Cameron Gill each recorded a pair of base knocks, driving home three and two runs, respectively. Gunnar Jonson paced the squad with four RBI.

Wofford wasted no time jumping onto the scoreboard, plating four runs in the top of the first. Trey Yunger’s RBI single opened the scoring, and Cameron Gill followed with a two-run single of his own. Gunnar Johnson delivered another run with a sacrifice fly to cap the scoring with Wofford ahead 4-0.

But Mercer wasted no time in responding, hitting a three-run home run in the bottom of the frame to pull within a run, 4-3.

The Terriers continued to stay rolling offensively with two more runs in the second. Yunger delivered again with an RBI double, and Brice Martinez followed with an RBI single to make the Terrier lead 6-3.

The Bears got one of those runs back with an RBI double in the bottom of the second, making the score 6-4.

The offensive onslaught continued with three Terrier runs in the top of the third. David Wiley opened the frame with a solo home run, a 405-foot, 102 mph bomb to left center. Another run scored on a Ryan Galanie single that also featured an error on the play, and Yunger’s RBI groundout plated the third run. Wofford led 9-4.

Four more runs scored for the Terriers in the top of the fourth as Wofford began to pull away. With the bases loaded, Johnson laced a double down the left field line that cleared the bases. A Marshall Toole sacrifice fly plated Johnson to extend the lead to 13-4.

Mercer added a two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth to make the score 13-6.

The Bears continued a comeback push with four runs in the bottom of the fifth, pulling the score to 13-10.

Wofford tacked on two more in the top of the sixth with a Renwick RBI single and a wild pitch. The score was 15-10.

Pitching seemed to settle in for both squads late with four-straight zeroes on the scoreboard from the bottom of the sixth to the top of the eighth, but Mercer picked back up in the bottom of the eighth with three runs. This brought the Bears within two, 15-13.

Mercer added one more run in the ninth, but Lucas Mahlstedt clamped down on the mound to seal the 16-14 Terrier triumph.

Wofford will play No. 1 Samford tomorrow in a winners’ bracket showdown with a berth in the championship game on the line. First pitch is slated for 4:00 p.m. at Fluor Field.