This Week in Atlantic Sun Baseball: April 4th

Thursday, April 04, 2013

MACON, Ga. - The Atlantic Sun has five baseball teams with at least 17 wins; Mercer (24), North Florida (21), FGCU (18), Kennesaw State (17) and USC Upstate (17). Only four other conferences can claim that including the ACC, SEC, Pac-12 and Sun Belt.

A-Sun Baseball Weekly Notes (#ASunBSB):
  • Northern Kentucky won its program’s first Atlantic Sun Conference game with a 5-3 decision vs. USC Upstate on March 28th. Aric Harris picked up the win for the Norse. NKU is now 2-2 in its last four games after a road win vs. Ball State on Wednesday. The Norse host their first A-Sun series as ETSU comes to Highland Heights for a three-game set.
  • After three weekends of conference play, the “Peach State” owns the early lead with Mercer and Kennesaw State both at 6-3. Two teams are tied for third place at 4-2 in the A-Sun; FGCU and North Florida. All four teams own winning records in conference play at home and on the road.
  • All four of the top teams face off this weekend as Kennesaw State hosts No. 24 FGCU, while Mercer travels to Jacksonville to battle with North Florida. Last season, FGCU swept the season series and defeated the Owls in their first A-Sun Championship meeting, but KSU eliminated the Eagles later in the tournament. Mercer won the season series against the Ospreys after dropping the series opener.
  • The Kennesaw State - FGCU series features the top-two pitching staffs in the A-Sun as the Owls own a 2.83 team ERA just ahead of FGCU’s 2.98. If the season ended today, the Owls and Eagles would rank second and third for best team ERA in a single season in conference history.
  • The North Florida - Mercer series has the top-two offenses as the Ospreys are batting .323 at the plate ahead of the Bears with a .305 batting average. The two teams rank in the top-two of the A-Sun for batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, runs scored, hits, RBIs, doubles, home runs, total bases, plate appearances and at-bats.
  • Mercer defeated No. 10 Georgia Tech on Tuesday for the A-Sun’s 23 victory this season vs. a BCS conference. The conference now is a combined 23-28 against teams from the ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Big East and SEC.
  • Currently, Mercer’s Derrick Workman batting average of .426 would rank as the ninth-best in A-Sun history, while right behind Workman is USC Upstate’s Brandon Patterson with an average of .418; 10th-best in the conference all-time. Forty-seven hitters have batted .400 or better in A-Sun history with the last occurring in the last occurrence in 2011; Jacksonville’s Adam Brett Walker (.409). Eleven players have hit for .400 since the 2008 season.
  • The A-Sun has racked up 24 wins against 2012 NCAA Tournament Participants. A-Sun teams have squared off against 17 of the 64 postseason teams and earned at least one win against 10 of them. This year’s 24 wins already has passed last year’s win total of 20 vs. 2011 tournament teams.
  • Mercer’s David Teasley is active leader for several pitching categories among conference hurlers. The senior leads all active players in wins (24), appearances (138) and strikeouts (180). Teasley’s 138 career appearances rank second-most in A-Sun history. He needs 14 more appearances to take over first place.
  • FGCU remained in the polls this weekend with a top ranking of No. 24 in the Perfect Game Top-25 Poll. The Eagles also landed at No. 25 in the Collegiate Baseball Poll and No. 28 in the NCBWA poll. Mercer is receiving votes in two polls.
  • Two A-Sun teams are collectively batting over .300 for the season after one month of play; North Florida (.323) and Mercer (.305). Last season, only one team reached the mark for the year; Mercer (.302). The Ospreys are batting a league-best, .370, in league play.
  • In the latest RPI release, two teams from the A-Sun appeared in the top-40; Mercer (28th) and FGCU (36th). Four A-Sun squads are in the top-100 as North Florida ranks 73rd and ETSU sits at No. 99. Kennesaw State isn’t far behind at No. 113.

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