MACON, Georgia (MERCER ATHLETICS) – For the second time in program history, the third-seeded Mercer baseball team is participating in the NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament when it takes on second-seeded South Alabama in the first round of the Starkville Regional on Friday at 3 p.m. at Dudy Noble Field.
Mercer (43-16) finished the season winning 18 out of its last 24 games and has already set a new program record for most wins in a single-season.
The Bears at-large bid into the 2013 NCAA Tournament follows up first-ever postseason appearance as an automatic-bid into the 2010 NCAA Tournament as a No. 4 seed in the Atlanta Regional.
Friday afternoon's game can be watched on your computer on ESPN3 or heard live on Comedy 1280 AM with play-by-play coverage provided by "The Voice of the Bears", Rick Cameron.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
South Alabama (42-18) finished with a share of the regular season Sun Belt Conference championship after posting a 20-10 mark in SBC play. The Jaguars are led by Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year Jordan Patterson (.360 avg., 25 2B, 49 RBI) and Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year Mark Calvi. South Alabama has relied heavily on its bats for its success this season as it ranks second in the Sun Belt with a .302 team batting average and third in the league with 415 runs scored. The Jaguars are sending senior RHP Anthony Izzio, who has a 3-0 record and 4.21 ERA in 36.1 innings pitched, to the mound on Friday afternoon against the Bears.
- The Mercer baseball team ranks in the top-20 in multiple statistical categories according to the latest NCAA Division I statistical rankings released on May 27. Out of all the teams in the country, the Bears rank first in fielding percentage (.982), fifth in walks (301), sixth in runs (437) and home runs (56), eighth in runs per game (7.6), 13th in on-base percentage (.403) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.85-to-1.0) 14th in wins (43) and 16th in slugging percentage (.449).