Men’s baseball dominates A-Sun Preseason All-Conference honors

With less than two weeks from opening day, the Mercer baseball team is diligently preparing with sights set on another championship season. After losing six seniors from last years’ squad, the Bears were picked in the preseason polls as likely to take another Atlantic Sun Conference championship.

In addition to being picked to win the conference, Mercer also had five members of its team receive preseason accolades. Mercer dominated the preseason polls across the board with two pitchers receiving honors and three position players.

Junior Chesny Young was named A-Sun Preseason Player of the Year. Young has already received such honors as being named a Louisville Slugger Preseason Third Team All-American and a National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Preseason Third Team All-American this season.

Senior Michael Massi was named A-Sun Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. Other recipients of preseason honors include seniors Brandon Barker and Nick Backlund along with junior Dimitri Kourtis.

With no true off season, the Bears have been working towards their season goal for months.

“We have been preparing for the first pitch on Feb. 14 against High Point since we stepped foot on campus in August” said Massi. “Countless hours in the gym, batting cages and on the field have been spent to fully prepare us.”

The Bears have been fully emerged in competition since the spring semester began. In preparation for the home season opener, the team has competed in intersquad scrimmages ever weekend getting ready for season.

“We have gotten better each day throughout our preseason scrimmages. Scrimmages are very competitive due to the depth we have on our team. This is definitely a positive that has allowed everyone to bring their best effort everyday,” Massi said.

With a long season ahead filled with extensive travel, the ultimate goal for the Bears this season is to leave the Atlantic Sun Conference on a high note. “We want to go out on top, to win another championship, and earn another ring and get a postseason bid,” said Backlund.

The whole team is excited and ready to begin the season. Kourtis added, “Our scrimmages have been going really well. Everyone is getting back into the swing of things. We are looking forward to being on the field again and playing a team in another jersey.”

After weeks of playing intersquad, the Bears are anxious for competition.

With endless hours dedicated to the upcoming season the team has worked relentlessly in aim to repeat success. With the season opener right around the corner the Bears are ready to defend their Atlantic Sun Championship Title, and accomplish greatness yet again.

After their post season run in the 2013 College World Series, repeat success is in store for the Mercer Bears. The team has worked hard this preseason to achieve their goals, and the whole team is ready to win another ring.

The Bears will take on the High Point Panthers in a three day series at Claude Smith Field on Friday, Feb. 14. Game time is scheduled for 4 p.m.