GREENVILLE, S.C. – With the game tied at seven in the bottom of the ninth with two outs, John Dempsey hit a solo home run to give the Wofford College baseball team an 8-7 win over Mercer on Friday afternoon in the 2021 Southern Conference Baseball Tournament presented by Holson Gases.
With the game tied at two after the first inning, the Bears had a 7-3 lead after four innings. The Terriers made it a one-run game by scoring three runs in the sixth and tied it with a run in the eighth. Dempsey’s second home run of the game won the contest.
Wofford is 36-20 overall and the #1 seed in the tournament. The Terriers advance to play on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. against either Samford or Western Carolina. Mercer, the #3 seed, ends their season at 35-22.
- The start of the game was delayed for 30 minutes due to rain in the area.
- In addition to the two solo home runs by John Dempsey, six Terriers had one hit each in the game.
- The Bears had nine hits in the game, three of which were home runs.
- Wofford reached the 36 win mark for the third straight full season, which is tied for the second-most in a season (2018 and 2019).
- It was the 18th game played this season decided by one run, with the Terriers 14-4 in those games.
- Wofford starter Elliot Carney went five innings with seven runs allowed on six hits, along with six strikeouts. He has 107 strikeouts on the season, tied for fifth in school history. Dalton Rhadans (6-0) threw the final four shutout innings with three hits allowed and four strikeouts.
- Garett Delano started for Mercer and in five innings allowed five runs on three hits. He issued six walks with one strikeout. Taylor Lobus gave up one run on three hits in two-thirds of an inning. Josh Farmer (4-1) went three innings with two runs allowed on two hits.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Mercer opened the game with a double and with one out a home run gave the Bears a 2-0 lead. A walk and two strikeouts ended the top half. Nolen Hester was hit by a pitch and advanced on a sacrifice bunt. Back-to-back walks to Lawson Hill and Trey Yunger loaded the bases and a sacrifice fly by Jack Renwick scored Hester for a 2-1 game. A throwing error when Trey Yunger stole second allowed Hill to score and tie the game at 2-2.
- With two outs in the top of the second, a single was followed by a home run to give the Bears a 4-2 lead.
- Wofford led off the bottom of the second with a walk to Matty Brown and Shane Lussier reached on an error on a sacrifice bunt. A sacrifice bunt by Nolen Hester advanced the runners into scoring position but they were stranded.
- In the top of the third, the Bears led off with a solo home run to make it 5-2. In the bottom of the frame, Jack Renwick singled with one out. He moved to second on a ground out and scored on a single up the middle by Brennen Dorighi.
- The Bears had two outs with two runners on base in the top of the fourth when a throwing error on a ground ball allowed two runs to cross the plate. Wofford was retired in order to end the inning and the Bears went in order in the top of the fifth. The Terriers stranded one runner in the bottom of the fifth after a walk.
- After Mercer was retired in order in the top of the sixth, John Dempsey cleared the fence in right center to make it a 7-4 game. It was his sixth home run of the season. Brennen Dorighi walked and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. A double by Shane Lussier scored Dorighi, but Lussier was out at third on the play. Nolen Hester added a single with two outs and Colin Davis walked. A single to right field by Lawson Hill drove in Hester for a 7-6 score. After a walk, a fly ball ended the inning with a pair of runners stranded in scoring position.
- With one out in the top of the seventh, Mercer had a single. A strikeout was followed by a great catch in right field by Nolen Hester to send the game to the stretch. Wofford was retired in order in the bottom of the seventh.
- In the top of the eighth with one out, the Bears had a walk and a single. A ground out and pop up ended the scoring threat. Shane Lussier walked with one out in the bottom of the eighth and he stole second. A double to right field by Colin Davis drove in Lussier to tie the game at 7.
- The Bears drew a lead-off walk in the ninth and with one out the runner was picked off. They added a double before a strikeout ended the top half. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, John Dempsey hit a home run off the foul pole down the right field line for an 8-7 win.
It was his first career game with two home runs.