Mercer Marketing and Communications
The Mercer Bears baseball team punched a ticket to the NCAA baseball tournament for the third time in six seasons as they won both the Southern Conference regular season and postseason title.
They finished the regular season with a record of 35-21 and 16-7 record in the conference, marking the sixth season the Bears have reached 35 wins.
The Bears earned the one seed in the conference tournament and looked poised to take advantage of their seeding. They steamrolled through the conference tournament going a perfect 4-0 while outscoring their opponents 32-10, which included a 19-7 rout of VMI as they record 23 hits which left them one hit shy of the SoCon record for hits in a tournament game.
In the SoCon championship game, the Bears blanked Samford 5-0 as Eric Nyquist threw a six hit complete game shutout — his second complete game shutout of the season. For his performance in the SoCon tournament, he was awarded the Walt Nadzak Most Outstanding Player Award. Nyquist alongside Adam Scott, Morgan Pittman, Charlie Madden, Danny Edgeworth and Trey Truitt made the All-Tournament team.
The Bears drew the fourth seed in the regionals of the NCAA tournament. They played Florida State — the one seed — in their first game and lost in a heartbreaking fashion as they came up short in extra innings by a score of 5-4. This set up an elimination game against the Auburn Tigers, and for the second straight game, the Bears lost by just one run as they were held scoreless in a 1-0 game.
The season ended for the Bears but it was memorable season as they made program history and found their way into the tournament. The Bears will look to defend their SoCon crown next season and try to get back to the NCAA tournament with aspirations of a College World Series title. The Bears will be without ace Nyquist, but power hitter Kyle Lewis will return.