GREENVILLE, N.C. – Chase Burks tossed seven scoreless innings, while JT Thomas registered four hits including his third home run of the weekend leading Mercer to an 8-2 win over No. 8 East Carolina Sunday afternoon at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium. With the win the Bears improve to 17-4 on the season, while the Pirates were swept at home for the first time this year and fall to 13-7.
Burks (1-0) struck out a career-best seven batters allowing two walks and six hits over his personal-best seven frames. Josh Knies surrendered a pair of runs (both earned) on four hits with one strikeout in relief.
Jacob Wolfe (2-1) suffered the loss working just one inning where he allowed five runs (all earned) on four hits with a walk and a pair of strikeouts. Chris Holba tied a career-high with nine strikeouts, while walking one and surrendering one run (unearned) in four innings of relief. ECU would use five other arms out of the bullpen in Sam Lanier (1.0 IP, 2 Ks), Tyler Smith (0.1 IP, 1 R), Ryan Ross (0.2 IP), Matt Bridges (1.0 IP, 1 K) and West Covington (1.0 IP, 1 R).
The Bears out hit the Pirates 13 to 10 on the day. Thomas collected a game-high four hits while driving in a pair of runs. Jackson Ware (three), Hunter Bening (two) and Danny Edgeworth (two) added multiple hits, while Bening (two) and Edgeworth (three) drove in multiple runs.
Yorgen registered three hits and drove in one of ECU’s two runs, while Spencer Brickhouse and Bryce Harman each had a pair of base knocks. Turner Brown also drove in a run on an RBI ground out in the ninth.
How It Happened:
Mercer jumped out to an early 5-0 lead in the first inning which was highlighted by Edgeworth’s two-RBI triple and Bening’s two-run homer. Charlie Madden plated the first run on a sac bunt scoring Ryan Hagan from third for a 1-0 advantage. Ware followed with an infield single before Edgeworth’s three-base hit to right field pushed across Thomas and Ware. On a first pitch offering from Wolfe, Bening slapped his fourth homer of the season sending a shot over the left field wall.
Thomas’ RBI single in the second frame staked the Bears to a 6-0 lead. Alex Crotty singled up the middle to get things going and took third when Alex Hanson reached on a throwing error by Holba on his sac bunt attempt. Thomas plated Crotty with a single through the right-side accounting for the run.
Edgeworth plated a run in the seventh on a sac bunt that scored Thomas extending Mercer’s lead to 7-0.
After Thomas’ solo home run in the ninth pushed the Bears lead to 9-0, ECU finally got on the board with a pair of runs in the home half of the ninth. Yorgen’s third hit of the day scored Harman, while Brown’s RBI ground out pushed across Brady Lloyd.
ECU will be back in action on Tuesday, March 21 when it travels to Elon for a midweek matchup starting at 6 p.m. (ET). The Pirates will return home on Wednesday, March 22 to host instate foe and No. 9 North Carolina with a 6:30 p.m. first pitch.