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Baseball Review 2014-2015: Bears lose power

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Justin Baxley, Sports Editor

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The Mercer Bears baseball team punched a ticket to the NCAA baseball tournament for the third time in six sea- sons 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 tour- nament 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 Out- standing Player Award. Ny- quist 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 heart- breaking 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 pro- gram history and found their way into the tournament. The Bears will look to de- fend 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.

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Baseball Review 2014-2015: Bears lose power