MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - In 2012, the Mercer baseball team set a school record for wins with 37.
At 37-13, the 2013 Bears are just one win away from breaking last year's record, but they don't want to stop there.
Their goal is to win 40.
"Whenever you're getting close like this, everyone's wanting to win, wanting to come out here," says junior outfielder Derrick Workman. "We want to be special; we're going to try everything we can to get to that 40-win mark."
The key to the Bears' success this season has been simple: good pitching and stellar defense.
"We have one of the best fielding percentages in the A-Sun Conference," says senior outfielder and pitcher, Evan Boyd. "We have a chance to break the record fielding-wise, and our pitching's kept us in games. When we've needed hits, we've gotten hits."
"We're fielding over .980," says head coach Craig Gibson. "We're pitching extremely well. I think we have a 3:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and offensively, we're hitting around .300. We have some threats in that lineup, and we usually have good, mature-type at-bats. When you put all those things together, generally you win."
This weekend, Mercer will play its final home series of the season with a regular season conference title on the line. The Bears say they could use a little home-field advantage.
"This is as good as it's gonna get at the college level," says Workman. "We're No. 21 in the country, we're competing with everybody. We've had some marquee wins already--Ohio State, Notre Dame, Georgia Tech. If they enjoy baseball and want to see some young men competing and giving it everything they've got for their school, then come on out."
"College baseball is really special," says Gibson. "You can get close to the guys; it's different from professional baseball. There's a lot of interaction with our guys. It's a good product--it's one of the top 30 teams in the country. It's hard to put this kind of group together, so if you're available and you want to see some good baseball, come on out. It'd be worth your time Friday, Saturday and Sunday."
The Bears will take on East Tennessee State this weekend at Claude Smith Field here in Macon.
First pitch Friday is set for 6 p.m.. They'll play Saturday again Saturday night at 7 and on Sunday afternoon at 1.
It's just $5 to get in and if you're a Mercer student, it's free.