Wednesday, May 15, 2013
MACON, Ga. - Six teams have already locked up spots in the 2013 Atlantic Sun Baseball Championship; Mercer, FGCU, North Florida, ETSU, Kennesaw State and Stetson. The final two spots are up for grabs between Lipscomb (10-14), USC Upstate (8-16) and Jacksonville (8-16).
Northern Kentucky hosts No. 28 Mercer, while Kennesaw State travels to Lipscomb. The Ospreys travel to USC Upstate for a three-game set in Spartanburg as Jacksonville also hits the road to face ETSU. Stetson and FGCU square off in Fort Myers with both teams in contention for the regular-season title.
A-Sun Baseball Weekly Notes (#ASunBSB):
- Five A-Sun batters are currently riding double-digit hit streaks led by Mercer’s Chesny Young (22) and followed by North Florida’s Tyler Marincov (20) and USC Upstate’s Brody Greer (20). Stetson’s Patrick Mazeika and Kennesaw State’s Bo Way also produced hitting streaks of 21 and 20 games, respectively, this season. Stetson’s James Rasmussen (13) and Lipscomb’s Lee Wilson (10) are also amidst a hitting streak.
- Northern Kentucky has played in the most one-run games this season among A-Sun teams with 19 just ahead of FGCU (16). Half of NKU’s wins have come in one-run contests. Stetson own one-run game victories with 10 just ahead of Mercer (9), FGCU (8) and ETSU (8).
- ETSU’s Kerry Doane continues to dominate on the mound. The senior right-handed pitcher was won 11 games (3rd-most in NCAA), while hurling 10 complete games; best in the nation. Doane also leads the nation in innings pitched (113) and is tied for national lead with four shutouts with Cal State Bakersfield’s Jeff McKenzie.
- Over the past 15 seasons, an A-Sun team from the state of Florida has won the conference regular-season title 13 times (Troy - 2005; Belmont - 2012). Mercer (17-7) sits in first heading into the final weekend in front of three Florida teams; North Florida (16-8), FGCU (16-8) and Stetson (15-9).
- Mercer’s Nick Backlund continues to lead the A-Sun in RBI (63), doubles (19) and homers (13). No one has accomplished that feat in the A-Sun in the past 16 seasons.
- The Bears, who currently sit at No. 28 in the NCBWA national poll, have racked up 39 wins this season, which is tied for 12th-most in the nation and ninth-most in the A-Sun since the 2003 season. North Florida’s 36 victories are 22nd-most in the conference over the same span. The 36 wins for the Ospreys are the most for UNF as a member of the Atlantic Sun.
- Mercer is joined by North Carolina, Virginia, Florida State and South Carolina as the only five teams in the nation to win at least 38 games in each of the last four seasons.
- In the latest WarrenNolan.com RPI release, Mercer claimed the 24th spot just ahead of North Florida (52nd) and FGCU (66th). ETSU sits just outside of the top-100 at 104th. The past 10 Atlantic Sun teams to receive at-large berths into NCAA Tournament had an average RPI of 35.
- Stetson and Mercer have been the two hottest teams in the A-Sun over the past five conference series. The Bears and Hatters are both 11-4 in the past five A-Sun series. FGCU and North Florida is right behind the duo with 10-5 records.
- The Hatters’ Patrick Mazeika is close to becoming the 48th player in A-Sun history to batting .400 for the season. Mazeika currently is batting just below the plateau at .397, but is hitting .455 in conference play; the best in the conference. Stetson finishes the season with FGCU, who owns the league’s lowest opposing batting average at .247.
- Two A-Sun starting pitchers have ERA’s lower than 2.00; KSU’s Steve Janas (0.81) and UNF’s Michael Renner (1.71). The last pitcher with a sub-two ERA was FAU’s Mickey Storey in 2005 at 1.70. Three pitchers are just over the mark; Mercer’s Brandon Barker (2.03), ETSU’s Kerry Doane (2.15) and FGCU’s Ricky Knapp (2.18).
- ETSU’s Andrew Green and Kennesaw State’s Peyton Hart are etching their names into the A-Sun career record books as the duo has cracked the top-25 for career at-bats. Green is 16th with 856 at-bats just ahead of Hart’s 833 (t22nd). Mercer’s Evan Boyd recently cracked the list in 30th place with 804.
- Green and Boyd also rank in the A-Sun record books for hits and doubles, respectively. Green’s 274 career hits are 24th all-time, while Boyd’s 53 doubles sit in a tie for 25th.
- 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.
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