MACON, Ga. - East Tennessee State starting pitcher Kerry Doane threw a complete game shutout on just 102 pitchers to lead the Buccaneers to a series opening 1-0 win over the No. 21 Mercer baseball team on Friday evening at Claude Smith Field.
Mercer (37-14, 15-7 A-Sun) was shutout for the just the second time this season following a 4-0 defeat at Alabama State on February 19.
The Bears are now just a game ahead of ETSU (29-20, 14-8 A-Sun) for second place in the Atlantic Sun Conference standings and a game and a half out of first place following a win by North Florida on Friday evening.
Doane was the story of the night for the Buccaneers as he scattered just five hits, to a Bears line-up that is one of the best in the country, to record his NCAA leading 10th complete game of the season.
Mercer starter Brandon Barker certainly held up his side of the bargain in a tough luck loss, throwing a season-high eight innings and allowing just one unearned run on four hits to drop his record to 6-1 in 2013.
ETSU picked up the only run in the contest in the top of the seventh inning. With the bases loaded with one out, senior Mason Hershey lifted a fly ball to right field that scored the base runner from third just ahead of a strong throw by junior Derrick Workman to give the Buccaneers a 1-0 lead.
Mercer's best chance to tie things up came in the bottom of the eighth. Junior Sasha LaGarde stole second base and advanced on an errant throw up to third, but Doane induced sophomore Chesny Young to ground out to shortstop to end the threat.
Young had the only multi-hit effort for the Bears in the game, going 2-for-4 with a pair of singles to extend his hitting streak to a career-long 20 games.
Mercer returns to action tomorrow evening for game two of its series against ETSU. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Claude Smith Field.