Bears look to stay perfect with pair of mid-week tilts
MACON, Ga. (MERCER RELEASE) – The Mercer baseball team tries to keep its unblemished mid-week record intact when it hosts Alabama State and travels to Georgia State for games this week.
The Bears host Alabama State on Tuesday at 6 p.m. before traveling to Georgia State for a scheduled 6 p.m. start on Wednesday.
Mercer (26-7) has won 12 out of its last 13 games overall and is a perfect 9-0 in mid-week action so far this season.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT
Tuesday’s meeting with Alabama State (26-10) is significant in that it represents the first contest featuring two teams with 25 or more wins in the country this season. The Hornets swept a doubleheader at Mississippi Valley State this past weekend and sport an impressive 13-5 road record thus far in 2014. Alabama State is hitting .298 as a team this season and is led offensively by junior Waldyvan Estrada, who is hitting .363 with nine doubles and 32 RBI. This is the second meeting between Mercer and Alabama State this season, with the Bears coming away with a 12-4 win in Montgomery.
Georgia State enters action this week with a 15-18 overall record after dropping two-of-three to fellow Sun Belt Conference member Arkansas-Little Rock this past weekend. Mercer has a 63-46 lead in the all-time series with Georgia State and is 4-1 in its last five contests against the Panthers. Pitching has been a problem for GSU so far this season, as it ranks last in the Sun Belt with a .304 opponents’ batting average and second-to-last with a 5.74 team ERA. Senior Nic Wilson paces a potent Panthers lineup with a .358 batting average, 12 home runs and 36 RBI.
LAST TIME OUT
MACON, Ga. (MERCER RELEASE) – The Mercer baseball team used its explosive offense in game one and a complete game shutout from junior Eric Nyquist in game two to secure a doubleheader sweep over USC Upstate on Saturday afternoon at Claude Smith Field.
Down 2-0 in game one, the Mercer bats came alive in the middle innings, putting up nine runs in the fifth and sixth to jump out to a 9-4 lead. A two-RBI double by senior Michael Massi and a two-run home run by junior Chesny Young highlighted the Bears scoring in a five-run bottom of the sixth. The Bears bullpen would do the rest from there, using three relievers to finish the game off by throwing 3.2 innings of scoreless relief.
Game two was all about Nyquist, who put together arguably the most dominant performance of his career in the win. After being staked out to a 1-0 lead thanks to an RBI single by senior Austin Barrett, Nyquist took over from there. The Alpharetta, Ga. native threw a 111-pitch complete game, his second complete game in as many starts, and allowed no runs on just three hits while tying his career-high with five strikeouts to pick up his fifth win of the season.
– Mercer is currently the only team in the Atlantic Sun Conference to rank in the top-two in runs scored (2nd), home runs (1st) and ERA (2nd). Individually, senior Sasha LaGarde currently leads the A-Sun with 36 runs scored while classmate Michael Massi paces the league with 126 assists in splitting time between shortstop and second base.
– Mercer has continued its recent domination of in-state competition this season following a series win over Kennesaw State and mid-week triumphs over Savannah State and Georgia Tech. The Bears are now 27-13 against schools in the state of Georgia dating back to the start of the 2011 season.