This Week in Atlantic Sun Baseball: Feb. 22nd

Friday, February 22, 2013

MACON, Ga. - Thirty games are scheduled for Atlantic Sun baseball teams this weekend with FGCU travelling to No. 7 Florida for a three-game series. The Gators advanced to last year’s College World Series.

Mercer hosts 2012 NCAA Regional Participant, Bethune-Cookman, for three games including a double header on Saturday. North Florida also takes on No. 7 Florida in Gainesville with a mid-week game slated for Tuesday. Last year, the Ospreys defeated Florida, 10-5 when the Gators were ranked No.1 in the nation. Stetson faces Bethune-Cookman and Jacksonville hosts College of Charleston in other mid-week games vs. 2012 NCAA Regional Participants.

A-Sun Baseball Weekly Notes (#ASunBSB):
  • After one week of action, A-Sun baseball teams have a combined record of 10-4 vs. teams from the Big 10, Big 12, Big East and SEC Conferences. A-Sun teams are 4-1 vs. the Big East, 3-1 vs. the Big 10, 2-1 vs. the Big 12 and 1-1 vs. the SEC.
  • Eight of the ten conference teams have .500 or better records after the first week of the season. Last year, A-Sun teams posted a 156-121 record in non-conference play for a .563 winning percentage. So far, this year league teams are a combined 21-15 in non-conference action (.583).
  • As a whole, the A-Sun finished as the 10th-best conference in the nation last season according to the NCAA Conference RPI and The A-Sun was ranked 11th by Boyd’s World. Five conference squads finished in RPI Top-100, while seven appeared in the top-125.
  • USC Upstate’s Gaither Bumgardner started the season off right trying to defend his A-Sun Player of the Year title from 2012. The senior outfielder recorded five hits in the opening game and tallied eight total in the Spartans first three contests. Bumgardner is batting .571 with an on-base percentage of .625 - both of which rank in the top-five of the A-Sun.
  • Mercer’s David Teasley is active leader for several pitching categories among conference hurlers. The senior leads all active players in wins (21), appearances (119) and strikeouts (164). Teasley has already picked up two wins this season in four appearances with nine strikeouts.
  • ETSU’s Clinton Freeman was tabbed the A-Sun Player of the Week after going 8-for-10 in the opening series vs. Penn State. The junior tallied three homers and crossed the plate seven times to guide the Bucs to a series win vs. the Nittany Lions.
  • Stetson’s Pete Dunn own the most wins among A-Sun coaches with 1,204, but as a whole the league coaches combine for 5,715 wins.
  • Eight of the ten A-Sun programs are at home this weekend with the exception of FGCU at Florida and Northern Kentucky in Nashville at a neutral site vs. Saint Louis.
  • Lipscomb opens the season on a 12-game home stand, while ETSU has seven-straight home dates to begin the year. On the flipside, Northern Kentucky hits the road for its first nine games, while FGCU is away from Swanson Stadium for its first seven contests.
  • The owners of the top-four batting averages from 2012 return this season with Mercer’s Nick Backlund (.381; 1st) and Chesny Young (.367; 3rd) as well as Upstate’s Gaither Bumgardner (.376; 2nd) and ETSU’s Clinton Freeman (.365; 4th).
  • For the second-straight season, Stetson hosts the Atlantic Sun Baseball Championship. The Hatters have served as the championship site for the 10 of the last 12 title games. This season, two more teams will be invited to the tournament as eight teams will trek to DeLand, Fla. for the conference championship.
  • Jacksonville's Chris Anderson won the A-Sun Pitcher of the Week honors after striking out 13 batters in only seven innings of work vs. Radford. Anderson allowed only one hit.
  • Last season, eight former A-Sun baseball student-athletes appeared on MLB rosters; Chris Sale (White Sox; FGCU), Daniel Murphy (Mets; Jacksonville), Chris Johnson (Diamondbacks/Astros; Stetson), Rex Brothers (Rockies; Lipscomb), Cory Gearrin (Braves; Mercer), Chad Jenkins (Blue Jays; Kennesaw State), Corey Kluber (Indians; Stetson) and Casey Coleman (Cubs; FGCU).

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