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

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.

Categories: Across Georgia Sports, Sports

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