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Mercer hosts Northern Kentucky on Easter Weekend

The Mercer baseball team returns home after a mini four-game road trip to host Northern Kentucky for a three-game series on Easter Weekend starting on April 17 at Claude Smith Field.
MACON, Ga. (MERCER RELEASE) – The Mercer baseball team returns home after a mini four-game road trip to host Northern Kentucky for a three-game series on Easter Weekend starting on April 17 at Claude Smith Field.

Mercer (28-10, 11-4 A-Sun) takes on the Norse in game one on Thursday evening at 6 p.m., with game two slated for Friday at 6 p.m. and game three set for a 2 p.m. first pitch on Saturday.

PITCHING MATCHUPS

Friday
Mercer: RHP Brandon Barker (3-2, 3.21 ERA, 35 K’s)
Northern Kentucky: RHP Wendell Wright (2-2, 4.79 ERA, 16 K’s)

Saturday
Mercer: LHP Grant Papelian (3-2, 4.22 ERA, 27 K’s)
Northern Kentucky: LHP Cody Cooper (2-6, 8.88 ERA, 22 K’s)

Sunday
Mercer: RHP Eric Nyquist (6-0, 3.17 ERA, 32 K’s)
Northern Kentucky: TBA

SCOUTING THE OPPONENT
Northern Kentucky enters this Easter Weekend series with an 11-22 overall record and a surprising 5-7 mark in A-Sun Conference play, positioning the Norse alone in sixth-place in the league standings. Despite having an offensive attack that ranks third in the A-Sun with 71 doubles and fourth with 22 home runs, Northern Kentucky’s pitching staff has been a problem as it ranks last in the A-Sun with a 7.38 team ERA. Sophomore Logan Spurlin leads the Norse offense with a .357 batting average, 13 doubles and a .554 slugging percentage.

LAST TIME OUT
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Junior Eric Nyquist threw his third-straight complete game and second-straight complete game shutout to lift the Mercer baseball team to a 2-0 series finale victory at Lipscomb on Sunday afternoon at Ken Dugan Field. Sunday was all about Nyquist, as he allowed no runs on just two hits to go along with a career-high six strikeouts in a tidy 111-pitch complete game. Over his last three starts, the Alpharetta, Ga. native has allowed three runs on 12 hits to go along with 13 strikeouts compared to just one walk in 25 innings pitched. Mercer managed to score its two runs in the game courtesy of a perfect safety squeeze bunt by junior Chesny Young in the top of the sixth and a bases loaded walk by classmate Nate Moorhouse in the top of the ninth.

FAST FACTS
- Mercer holds a 3-0 lead in the all-time series against Northern Kentucky after sweeping a three-game series from the Norse in Highland Heights last season. Mercer out-scored Northern Kentucky 29-13 in the three-game set to clinch its first Atlantic Sun Conference Regular Season Title in program history.
- Junior Eric Nyquist was honored by being named the Atlantic Sun Conference Co-Pitcher of the Week on Monday afternoon. The weekly conference award is the first of Nyquist's career and pulls Mercer into a tie with Lipscomb for the most A-Sun weekly honors this season, with four.
- Two big milestones are quickly approaching for the Bears as head coach Craig Gibson sits just two wins away from 350 career victories while senior Derrick Workman is just eight hits shy of breaking the all-time Mercer career record of 264 hits set by Tim Smith in 1980-1983.

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