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Patrick Mazeika had three hits, including a two-run double in the 10th inning.
by: Stetson University
Hatters Dispatch Mercer in Tourney Opener, 7-5
Courtesy: Stetson University  
Release:  05/21/2014
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FORT MYERS, Fla.—Patrick Mazeika knocked in the winning runs with a two-out, two-run double in the 10th inning to help give seventh-seeded Stetson a 7-5 win over second seed Mercer in the opening round of the Atlantic Sun Conference Championship, Wednesday at Swanson Stadium.

The Hatters next face third seed Kennesaw State at 5 p.m., Thursday.

Mazeika’s big hit rallied the Hatters (25-32 overall) after they squandered a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the ninth. With two outs, nobody on base and the score tied at five. Robert Bruce started the rally when he reached on a two-base error.

Tanner Blackman pinch ran for Bruce and Bocock followed with a walk, putting runners at first and second. Mazeika then slammed a 1-0 pitch from Dimitri Kourtis (5-1) into the right-center field gap, easily scoring both runners for a 7-5 edge.

“I’m real proud of the guys,” said Stetson head coach Pete Dunn. “A lot of teams would have lost their momentum after the way the ninth inning went, but we kept battling and got the ‘W’ ”.

Tyler Warmoth (5-3) closed the door on Mercer in the bottom of the inning, redeeming himself after coughing up a 5-4 lead in the ninth. But his efforts in the final frame weren’t without some drama.

The first two Mercer (38-16) batters went down without much of a fight in the tenth, but Warmoth then walked the next two hitters, bringing the winning run to the plate in the form of Kyle Lewis, who had two hits and a pair of RBI to his credit. But Lewis managed just a harmless pop up to right field, ending the threat and sending the Hatters to victory.

“I was upset at myself (after the ninth) but I had a lot of faith that the guys would pick me up,” said Warmoth. “I didn’t think I threw well. I was just glad to get a chance to go back out to the mound. The big hit got me all pumped up, so I was ready to get back out there.”

Stetson got on the board first, scoring a pair of runs in the top of the third. After Kevin Fagan led off with a single and stole second, Bocock lined a triple into the right field corner, easily scoring Fagan for a 1-0 lead. Mazeika followed with a single up the middle and Stetson had a 2-0 advantage.

Mercer answered back with a run in the bottom of the inning on a Sasha LaGarde RBI single, but Stetson stretched the lead to 4-1 in the fourth. Kyle Zech reached on a single, stole second, and scored from third on a throwing error by right fielder Derrick Workman, and Fagan laced a run-scoring single two batters later.

But again, Mercer came back, scoring a pair in the bottom of the fourth, with both runs coming on a two-out hit by Lewis which made it a 4-3 game.

The Bears tied the game at four in the fifth on Nick Backlund’s RBI single.

Stetson grabbed a 5-4 lead in the seventh. Mazeika and Powers drew consecutive walks to start the inning, but Garrett Russini grounded into a double play. With Mazeika at third and two out, Mike Fernland lined a single into left centerfield, scoring Mazeika with the go-ahead run.

Mercer went quickly and quietly in the seventh and eighth innings before tying the game in the ninth against Warmoth.

The Hatters battered Mercer pitching for 14 hits, including three each for Mazeika and Zech. Fagan and Mitch Piatnik also had two hits each. Stetson also drew five walks in the game.

Taylor Cockrell started for the Hatters and tossed seven solid innings, allowing four runs on seven hits while striking out three. Warmoth allowed one run on one hit in three innings, but walked four batters including one intentionally.

--SU--








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