Illinois State Turns in Another Strong Day at the Plate to Notch Second-Straight Decisive Win Over MSU
MSU, ISU Enter Friday's Opener Tied For Fourth Place in MVC Standings
MSU Relies on Big First Start From Andy Cheray and Balanced Offensive Attack to Even Season and Overall Series With Tigers
MSU Opens Four-Game Home Stretch With Alumni Night Contest Against Missouri
MSU Comes Through With Four Consecutive Two-Out Hits to Snatch 6-5 Victory From Braves
2013: Merciez made 14 appearances out of the Bears' bullpen as a sophomore, going 0-2 with a 5.18 earned run average...Worked 2.0 scoreless innings in MSU's 8-1 win over Alcorn State (Feb. 22) at the Southern Miss Invitational...Held Northwestern State to a single unearned run in an inning of work March 2...Turned in a career-high 3 2/3 innings at Arkansas State (March 13), striking out three in an eventual 7-5 setback...Followed that effort with 3.0 solid innings to help preserve an 8-2 road win over NCAA participant New Mexico (March 19), striking out a career-best four batters...Logged his best outing of the season May 7 vs. Oral Roberts, matching his personal best for strikeouts with four K's over three hitless innings...Pitched over the summer for Glens Falls of the Perfect Game Collegiate League, going 0-2 with a 3.80 ERA with 20 strikeouts over 23.2 innings of work...Received his first MVC Commissioner's Academic Excellence Award and a spot on the conference's academic honor roll for the second consecutive year.
2012: Turned in a strong rookie campaign for the Bears, posting a 4.78 earned run average and two saves in 18 relief appearances...Logged a 3.72 ERA in 10 home outings...Made his Missouri State debut Feb. 18, against Tennessee Tech, working 3.2 innings and allowing just one run on one hit to help preserve a 10-8 victory...Tossed 2.0 scoreless innings vs. Stephen F. Austin (Feb. 24) to notch his first career save...Earned his second save March 9, in a 3-0 blanking of SIU Edwardsville, combining with Nick Petree on a two-hit shutout; worked the final 3.0 innings, striking-out a career-best five hitters without giving up a hit...Closed out the Bears' March 13, loss to Purdue with two scoreless innings of relief...Turned in his fourth-consecutive scoreless outing March 25 to help preserve a 5-3 win over Creighton that completed the Bears' three-game sweep...Allowed his first runs since March 4 in the Bears' 9-8 win over Kansas (March 27), giving up two runs over 2 2/3 innings...Worked a career-long 5.0 innings, allowing two earned runs on just three hits while striking out four in a 6-5 loss at Dallas Baptist (March 30)...One of four MSU pitchers to combine on a 3-0 shutout of Kansas State (April 11), working a scoreless seventh inning...Tossed a scoreless inning to help the Bears knock off Wichita State and secure their first regular-season road series win over the Shockers (April 21)...Worked 4.0 innings vs. Southern Illinois (April 28), allowing just one run on three hits while fanning a career-best five Salukis...Allowed one run or less in five of his final seven outings of the season (April 4-May 9).
Background: Merciez came to MSU after a standout prep career at Bartlesville (Okla.) High...Went 7-2 with a 2.29 ERA and 71 strikeouts in 55 innings for the Bruins as a junior...Earned all-district honors in football as a kicker for a Bartlesville program that went 16-7 over the last two seasons and won the school's first playoff game in 20 years in 2009.
Personal: Zachary Joseph Merciez is the son of Danny and Juli Merciez...Father played football at Missouri State in the late 1980s...Born October 20, 1992, in Springfield, Mo...Majoring in exercise and movement science.