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Mercer and FGCU meet this weekend with first place on the line

Riding high off yet another win at Georgia Tech on Wednesday, the Mercer baseball team travels to Fort Myers for a pivotal three-game Atlantic Sun Conference weekend series at Florida Gulf Coast starting on April 25 at Swanson Stadium.
MACON, Ga. (MERCER RELEASE) – Riding high off yet another win at Georgia Tech on Wednesday, the Mercer baseball team travels to Fort Myers for a pivotal three-game Atlantic Sun Conference weekend series at Florida Gulf Coast starting on April 25 at Swanson Stadium.

Mercer (32-10, 14-4 A-Sun) takes on the Eagles in game one on Friday evening at 6:30 p.m., with game two slated for Saturday at 2 p.m. and game three set for a 1 p.m. first pitch on Sunday.

Mercer currently sits in first-place in the A-Sun standings with its 14-4 league mark, but are closely followed by FGCU (27-15, 11-4 A-Sun) who sits a game and a half back in the standings with three less conference games played than the Bears.

PITCHING MATCHUPS
Friday
Mercer: RHP Brandon Barker (3-2, 3.52 ERA, 39 K’s)
Florida Gulf Coast: RHP Michael Murray (9-0, 0.82 ERA, 62 K’s)
Saturday
Mercer: TBD
Florida Gulf Coast: TBD
Sunday
Mercer: TBD
Florida Gulf Coast: TBD

SCOUTING THE OPPONENT
FGCU enters play this weekend coming off a solid mid-week triumph of its own, a 5-3 road win at South Florida on April 22. The Eagles have not dropped a true three-game weekend series all season long and sport a 15-7 home record thus far in 2014. FGCU features one of the top pitching staffs in the country as it paces the A-Sun and ranks 33rd in the nation with a 2.93 team ERA. Sophomore and Friday night starter Michael Murray has a lot to do with that, as the West Palm Beach, Fla. product ranks second in the country with his nine wins and fourth in the nation with a 0.82 ERA. The Eagles can do more than just pitch, however, as junior Jake Noll paces the FGCU lineup with a .353 batting average, 11 doubles, 36 runs scored and an A-Sun leading 20 stolen bases.

LAST TIME OUT
ATLANTA, Ga. (MERCER RELEASE) – Freshman Charlie Madden capped off a career day at the plate with a clutch two-out RBI double in the top of the 10th inning to guide the Mercer baseball team to a 4-3 extra-inning win at Georgia Tech on Wednesday evening at Russ Chandler Stadium. Mercer has now swept the season series from Georgia Tech (25-17) in two out of the last three seasons and improves its record to 6-2 in its last eight meetings with the Yellow Jackets. Madden finished the night by tying his career-high in hits by going 3-for-4 with a career-high two doubles and an RBI in the win. Junior Chesny Young also had a multi-hit performance in the victory, going 2-for-3 with two walks and two runs scored. After Georgia Tech tied the game up at 3-3 in the bottom of the ninth, Madden provided an answer for the Bears in the top of the 10th. The Dunwoody, Ga. native lifted a clutch two-strike two-out RBI double down the left field line to push the visitors back in front to stay at 4-3.
FAST FACTS
- Senior Derrick Workman is closing in on some worthy individual accolades entering play this week. The Acworth, Ga. native is now just five hits shy of breaking the all-time Mercer career record of 264 hits set by Tim Smith in 1980-1983. Workman also currently has 399 career total bases, with his next hit making him only the second active player in all of NCAA Division I with 400 or more career total bases.
- Mercer is up to No. 25 in the latest RPI rankings put out by both WarrenNolan.com and BoydsWorld.com following its win over Georgia Tech last night. The Bears are now a perfect 5-0 against top-50 RPI teams this season and 8-3 against top-100 RPI clubs.
- With their win over Georgia Tech last night, the Bears now own the best in-state record amongst the six other Division I schools in the state of Georgia this season, at 5-2, and are now 28-14 against Peach State foes dating back to the start of the 2011 season.
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