Bears Prepare for First Round Matchup Against Jacksonville
MACON, Ga. – The Mercer baseball team starts its quest for a fourth conference title in school history when it battles Jacksonville at 3 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon at Lipscomb University’s Dugan Field at Marsh Stadium.
The second-seeded Bears, who are making their fifth-straight Atlantic Sun Championship appearance, face off against the Dolphins who have won two of the last three A-Sun titles.
Season Series Recap Against Jacksonville
Mercer took two-of-three on the road against Jacksonville in its regular season series on March 26 and 27. The Dolphins won game one 7-5, but the Bears came back to take games two and three by 9-3 and 8-7 margins.
The Orange and Black put game two of that series away with back-to-back three-run innings in the fifth and sixth. Senior Michael Langley contributed an RBI single and sophomore Jacob Tanis supplied a two-RBI double in the sixth to secure the game.
The final game of the series went into extra innings after the Bears scored three runs in the eighth to tie the contest at 7-7. In extras, senior Nick DiMauro laid down a perfect RBI bunt single in the top of the 10th to give Mercer an 8-7 lead.
Fellow senior Lath Guyer took care of the rest, shutting the door on Jacksonville. The Athens, Ga. native finished off three scoreless innings of relief with a one-two-three 10th inning to seal the win for Mercer.
Scouting the Opposition
Jacksonville (25-27, 14-12 A-Sun) enters the A-Sun championship after taking two-of-three from Stetson this past weekend.
Freshman Dan Gulbransen paces the Dolphins offense with a team-leading .401 batting average and .506 on-base percentage. Fellow freshman Adam Brett Walker provides the thunder in the JU lineup with a team-high 15 home runs and 55 RBI.
Junior Matt Loosen is scheduled to start for the Dolphins on Wednesday afternoon. The right-hander posted a 3-3 record with a 4.93 ERA this season to go along with a team-high 83 strikeouts.
- Mercer finished this season with an RPI of 146 according to the WarrenNolan.com. The Bears posted three wins, all on the road, against top 100 squads this year including The Citadel (#35), FGCU (#43) and South Florida (#85).
- According to the recently released national statistics, sophomore Jacob Tanis finished the regular season leading the country with 83 RBI.
- The Bears are a remarkable 26-1 when leading after eight innings so far this season. Their only loss when leading after eight innings came in just the second game of the season against Morehead State on Feb. 20
- Mercer’s 33 wins this year is tied for the second-most wins in a single-season this decade. The Bears .600 winning percentage this season is tied for the fourth-best mark in school history.