Mercer takes title back home

* RP Andrew Mercer (Mount Pearl, Nfld.) led the Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles in ERA as the school won the NCAA Division II championship in 12 innings. .... 2014 Canadian draft listCanadians in the Minors Canadians in College 2015 Canadian draft list Letters of Intent 


By Bob Elliott

And the next NCAA championship ring to a Canadian player goes to ...

The first went to 1B Casey Power (Belle River, Ont.) of the Wisconsin-Whitewater Warhawks winners at NCAA Division III World Series in Appelton, Wisc., where Powers was named to the all-tournament team.

OK, tough one to guess which one of the 748 Canucks playing college ball will be sized for a ring.

Well, can you guess the province?

Not Ontario.

Not British Columbia.

And not Alberta.

Keep guessing.

Well, if you finally got around to selecting Newfoundland and Labrador, you win free access to the Canadian Baseball Network site.

Reliever Andrew Mercer (Mount Pearl, Nfld.) helped the Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles win the NCAA Division II title at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C.

Southern Indiana edged the Colorado Mesa Mavericks 3-2 in 12 innings on a bases-loaded walk before 2,848 fans in a championship game that tied the record as the longest NCAA Division II title game. Mercer didn’t pitch in the final, but he led the Screamimercer-7683ng Eagles staff in ERA.

Mercer transferred to USI from Highland Community College where he played two seasons for the Scotties. He posted a 2-3 record as a freshman with a 5.40 ERA in 12 games and 40 innings and had a 2-2 mark as a sophomore and a 6.08 ERA in six appearances and three starts.

Has there been anyone else enjoy more success from the Rock this side of Frank Humber, who attended Wake Forest and then pitched in the former Los Angeles Dodgers system?


How they reached the final: Southern Indiana opened the championships with an 4-3 upset win over the top-ranked Tampa Spartans.

Next, Southern Indiana beat Lander 6-5 before 1,115 fans. Mercer pitched a scoreless seventh with a one-run lead, allowing two hits.

Then, Minnesota State-Mankato handed Southern Indiana its first loss, a 5-1 win in front of 333 fans.

Southern Indiana forced its way into the final with a 4-3 win over Minnesota State Mankato in front of 335 fans. Mercer took over in the sixth and pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings. He allowed one hit and one walk, while fanning one.

And then the win over Colorado Mesa.


At the Great Lakes conference tourney ... Southern Indiana gained an 11-4 win over Illinois-Springfield in front of 357 fans at Bosse Field in Evansville, Ind. The reliever pitched 2 1/3 scoreless walking one and striking out two as the Screaming Eagles scored seven runs in its final two at-bats.

Next came a 2-1 win over Quincy before 228 fans.

Then, a 2-1 loss to Quincy in front of 407 fans.

And in the final, Quincy won 11-3 in front of 273 spectators. Mercer pitched a scoreless inning with Southern Indiana trailing 6-3 allowing one hit.


At the Midwest Regional ... Southern Indiana beat the Indianapolis Racers 5-3 before 307 fans at USI Baseball Field in Evansville, Ind. Mercer retired the final two outs in the eighth.

Then, the Screaming Eagles even their record at 1-1 with a 9-3 loss to Drury.

Southern Indiana stayed alive with a 6-2 win over the Wayne State Warriors. Mercer set down the final two hitters to end it. RF Eric Cunningham (La Salle, Ont.) doubled for Wayne State while teammate RHP Chris Horvath (Windsor, Ont.) pitched a scoreless seventh, walking one.

The Screaming Eagles advanced with a 5-2 victory over Grand Valley State before 307 fans.

Next, Southern Indiana won its berth in Cary, N.C. with a 5-2 win against Drury in front of 575 fans.

On the season ... 49-13 Screaming Eagles, Mercer was 3-1 with a 1.01 ERA. He walked 13 and struck out 21 in 35 2/3 innings, appearing in 21 games. His other two wins came against Bellarmine when he pitched three innings allowing three unearned runs and striking out one, plus the Evansville Purple Aces when he worked three scoreless innings, walking three.


Two other Canucks played for a team that made it to the NCAA Division II championship ...

RHP Dustin Robirtis (Victoria, BC) and LHP Andrew Malone (Calgary, Alta.) Colorado Mesa University. 

How they fared: The Mavericks opened with a 5-4 win over St. Thomas Aquinas in front of 756 fans.

Then the beat Seton Hill 6-2 before 317 fans.

The Tampa Spartans handed Colorado Mesa a 3-1 loss in front of 322 fans.

But the Mavericks came back with a 3-2 win to reach the final against Southern Indiana.

On the season ... for the 47-13 Mavericks, Robirtis was 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA. He walked one and struck out seven in 4 2/3 innings in nine games ... Malone worked one scoreless inning, walking a man and striking out a hitter.