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Monday, April 16, 2007Right-hander Taylor Merry, became the second consecutive Bison named Atlantic Sun Pitcher of the Week. It is an honor he shares this week with Stetsons' Chris Ingoglia.
"I was extremely proud of all the hits the guys recorded behind me," Merry said. "Coach Wheeler and Caleb [Joseph] did a great job calling the game. I felt good. I was able to locate my pitches and the guys did a great job playing defense behind me."
Merry received the honor after throwing a complete game five-hitter to defeat East Tennessee State University 6-1. In a rain-shortened eight inning game he gave up one run while striking out a season high ten.
"Taylor did a great job of getting ahead early in the count and changing speeds," pitching coach, Lantz Wheeler said. "He really attacked hitters and forced the tempo of the game, making the ETSU hitters uncomfortable."
Merry was named Pitcher of the Week, just a week after his teammate, and fellow freshman, Rex Brothers received the honor. Brothers was awarded after defeating Mercer 7-2. In eight innings he gave up two runs, one earned, while striking out eleven.
"It's nice for the guys to receive the national attention, they really work hard and compete every time out," Wheeler said. "As far as being a freshman, the staff realizes that has nothing to do with success and failure. You are either a pitcher or a thrower."
Until that time, the only Lipscomb baseball player to receive the honor was Matt Schnelly, who was awarded Pitcher of the Week in February of 2006 after shutting out the Pittsburgh Panthers 3-0.
On the season, Merry is 2-0 with a 4.50 ERA. In 12 appearances, including two starts, Merry has struck out 27 while holding batters to a .224 average.
Merry, who started the season as the Bisons' closer, accumulated four saves in that role, before recently moving to the starters position.
"Coach Forehand and I have a tremendous amount of confidence in Taylor," Wheeler said. "He is a competitor that attacks the strike zone and has four pitches he can throw for strikes. He really has a great understanding of how to pitch and does a great job of controlling the tempo of the game.
"We couldn't be more pleased with the way Taylor has pitched as a starter, however, we didn't expect anything else. He's a special player and one of the most competitive guys I have ever coached. Coach Forehand and I look forward to great things out of Taylor over the next few years."