Mercer Sweeps Doubleheader from USC Upstate
MACON, Ga. – 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.
Mercer (26-7, 10-2 A-Sun) secured its fourth three-game weekend series sweep this season with today's pair of wins and improves to a perfect 4-0 in doubleheaders in 2014 as well.
In game one, it would be USC Upstate who jumped out to an early lead against Mercer starter Grant Papelian. An RBI double by Zach Krider and an RBI single by junior Stephen Dowling gave the visitors an early 2-0 lead.
The Mercer bats came alive in the middle innings, however, putting up nine runs in the fifth and sixth innings combined 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. Junior Dimitri Kourtis picked up the win by tossing 1.2 innings of scoreless relief.
Mercer's top three hitters in its lineup (Massi, Young and senior Sasha LaGarde) combined to go 10-for-15 with 10 RBI and six runs scored to lead the Bears to the game one win.
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.
Junior Devin Bonin paced the Mercer offense in game two, going 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI.
Mercer is back in action on April 8 which it hosts Alabama State for a 6 p.m. game at Claude Smith Field.