February 16, 2014

Mercer Wraps up Series Sweep over High Point with 4-3 Win

MACON, Ga. – The Mercer baseball team wrapped up a solid season opening weekend sweep of High Point thanks to a 4-3 series finale win on Sunday afternoon at Claude Smith Field.

 

The Bears pitching staff was once again the story on Sunday as junior Eric Nyquist put together a strong start and classmate Ben Lumsden shut the door at the end to close out the win.

 

This is the second season in a row that Mercer has started 3-0 after the Bears ripped off wins over Ohio State, Saint Johns and Notre Dame to win the Snowbird Baseball Classic to kick of the 2013 campaign.

 

It didn't take long for Mercer to light the scoreboard as senior Nick Backlund rocked a solo home run to center field in the bottom of the first inning to give the Bears an early 1-0 lead.

 

Backlund continued to shoulder the load offensively in the bottom of the third when he laced an RBI single up the middle to put Mercer out in front by a 2-0 margin over High Point.

 

After the Panthers pushed across a run in the top of the fourth to make the score 2-1, Mercer responded by once again using the long ball. Senior Sasha LaGarde launched a two-run home run in the bottom half of the frame to push Mercer out to a 4-1 advantage over High Point.

 

That is the way things would stay thanks to the efforts of Nyquist, who threw a career-high 5.2 innings and allowed only one run on four hits to go along with four strikeouts.

 

High Point didn't go away, however, and took advantage when Nyquist departed by scratching across two runs against a pair of Bears middle relievers to make the score 4-3.

 

With the score still 4-3, the Panthers had the bases loaded and were looking for more in the bottom of the eighth before Lumsden came on and retired the final batter of the frame to keep Mercer in front.

 

Lumsden would do the rest from there, recording a one-two-three top of the ninth to pick up his first career save and secure Mercer's series sweep over High Point.

 

Backlund finished the day going 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored while senior Derrick Workman went 2-for-3 on the day as well with a single and a double.

 

Mercer continues its season opening 10-game homestand on February 18 with a mid-week match-up against Florida A&M. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Claude Smith Field.

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