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Mercer baseball looks set to have another successful season

Pitcher Christian Vann winds up for a pitch against Georgia Southern.
Pitcher Christian Vann winds up for a pitch against Georgia Southern.

The Mercer baseball team has had a successful season so far with an overall record of 19-6 as of Mar. 26.

Although the team hasn’t played any conference games yet, Head Coach Craig Gibson said that they still stand out in the Southern Conference.

“Right now, we have the best record in the conference,” Gibson said.  “We’ve been in the conference for three years, and we’ve won the championship for three years, so hopefully this group will give us a chance.”

Gibson said that he is pleased with the team’s perseverance.

“I like where we are,” Gibson said.  “I think we’ve faced a little adversity and we’ve shown signs that we can come from behind and win.  We were down 5-1 (against Georgia Southern University) and came back and won, so I think that says a lot.”

Gibson said that the team has been able to overcome setbacks and injuries.

“One of our better players, Brandon Michie, broke a bone in his hand, so he’s out for four weeks,” Gibson said.  “But Kyle Dockus has got in the mix and he’s done really well for us, so we just have to find a way to keep going.  Every day is sort of a different challenge and a chance to get better.”

The team is also well balanced with approximately 12 seniors and 13 freshmen.

“We try to keep about seven, eight, nine kids per class and that’ll generally keep us between that 35-40 number,” Gibson said.

The team has a strong group of pitchers, including Austin Cox, Robert Broom, Christian Vann, Nick Spear and Gibson Long.

“Austin Cox has really had a jump for us,” Gibson said.  “He’s a left-handed, junior pitcher. He’s, if you want to say, our number one pitcher.”

The team also boasts a decent crew of talented position players.

“JT Thomas, the senior catcher, is off to a great start and our outfielders Jackson Ware, Alex Hanson and Trey Truitt have all gotten off to good starts,” Gibson said.

There are two starting freshman players on the team, shortstop RJ Yeager and designated hitter Le Bassett.  Gibson said that team’s freshmen are great and show a lot of potential.

“We have a number of freshmen that we have redshirted and we’re saving them for down the road,” Gibson said.

The team has improved since last year, with higher batting averages and decreased strike-outs.  However, the boys have had “tough luck” pitching-wise, according to Gibson.

“It seems sometimes baseball’s a game of good fortune and I think we’ve had some tough breaks against us, but defensively we have to continue to make strides to get better,” Gibson said.

Ultimately, the team’s goal as always is to win the championship, and a this point is appears they are off to a good start.

The Bears recently won their first SoCon series against Wofford taking two out of three games.


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