Mercer travels to Lipscomb with first place at stake

Mercer travels to Lipscomb with first place at stake

The Mercer baseball team heads to Nashville this weekend for a three-game series against Lipscomb starting on April 11 at Dugan Field, with the winner assuming sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Sun Conference standings.
MACON, Ga. (MERCER RELEASE) – The Mercer baseball team heads to Nashville this weekend for a three-game series against Lipscomb starting on April 11 at Dugan Field, with the winner assuming sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Sun Conference standings.

Mercer (27-8, 10-2 A-Sun) takes on the Bisons in game one on Friday evening at 7 p.m., with game two slated for Saturday at 3 p.m. and game three set for a 2 p.m. first pitch on Sunday.

PITCHING MATCHUPS

Friday

Mercer: RHP Brandon Barker (2-1, 4.15 ERA, 21 K’s)
Lipscomb: RHP Ian Martinez-McGraw (5-1, 5.01 ERA, 32 K’s)
Saturday
Mercer: LHP Grant Papelian (3-1, 4.31 ERA, 14 K’s)
Lipscomb: RHP Hunter Brothers (1-1, 5.35 ERA, 24 K’s)
Sunday
Mercer: RHP Eric Nyquist (3-0, 4.93 ERA, 19 K’s)
Lipscomb: RHP Denton Norman (5-1, 2.79 ERA, 27 K’s

SCOUTING THE OPPONENT

Lipscomb enters play this weekend on a four-game winning streak after downing in-state foe UT-Martin 12-2 last time out on April 9. The Bisons were picked to finish seventh in the A-Sun Preseason Coaches’ poll, but are substantially exceeding expectations as they are currently tied with Mercer for first in the A-Sun standings with a 10-2 league record. Lipscomb’s offense has been the key to its success this season as it leads the A-Sun with a .300 team batting average, 260 runs scored, 73 doubles and 188 walks. Junior Grant Massey paces the Bisons lineup with a .356 batting average, 12 doubles and 36 runs scored.

LAST TIME OUT
ATLANTA, Ga. - The Mercer baseball team dropped its first mid-week game of the 2014 season following a tough 7-6 road loss at Georgia State on Wednesday evening at the GSU Baseball Complex. Senior Michael Massi starred with the bat once again on Wednesday night, producing his second four-hit game in a row by going 4-for-5 with a run scored and two RBI. With the score 7-6 Georgia State in the top of the ninth, a pinch-hit leadoff single by freshman Nathaniel Lowe was eventually followed up by an RBI single by classmate Kyle Lewis to tie the game up at 7-7. Georgia State would end up having the last laugh, however, coming right back in the bottom of the ninth with an RBI single up the middle by Caden Bailey to walk off with an 8-7 win.

FAST FACTS

- Mercer holds a 17-13 lead in the all-time series over Lipscomb. The Bears have won three out of the last four season series between the two schools, but were swept by the Bisons the last time they were in Nashville back in 2012. Senior Nick Backlund has hit well against Lipscomb over his career, sporting a .435 batting average with four home runs and eight RBI in six games played.
- The Mercer baseball team ranks in the top-40 in multiple statistical categories according to the latest NCAA Division I statistical rankings released on April 7. Out of all the teams in the country, the Bears rank tied for third in wins (27), eighth in strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.32-to-1.0) 13th in home runs (26), 27th in runs scored (222), 31st in slugging percentage (.422) and 39th in doubles (59).

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