FORT MYERS, Fla. –The Mercer baseball team secured a very important road series victory following its 5-3 rubber match win over Florida Gulf Coast on Sunday afternoon at Swanson Stadium.
Mercer (34-11, 16-5 A-Sun) handed FGCU (28-17, 12-6 A-Sun) its first true three-game weekend series loss of the season and is now the only team in the Atlantic Sun Conference to win its annual regular season series with the Eagles in each of the last four years.
Both teams were unable to get much going offensively in the early innings as Mercer's Eric Nyquist and FGCU's Jack English combined to put zeros on the board in each of the first four innings of play.
The Bears changed all that in the top of the fifth due to a lucky break and some great two-out hitting. An FGCU error was followed up by a two-out RBI double by junior Nate Moorhouse and back-to-back RBI singles by seniors Michael Massi and Sasha LaGarde to push Mercer out to a 3-0 lead.
The Eagles came back with an answer of their own in the bottom half of the fifth when junior Michael Suchy sliced a two-run home run over the wall in right field to make the score 3-2 Bears.
FGCU managed to tie things up in the bottom of the sixth after an RBI single by junior Jake Noll made the score 3-3.
Mercer responded in the top of the seven when freshman Danny Edgeworth, who received the starting nod on Sunday for just the fifth time all season, guided an RBI single up the middle to put Mercer back in front 4-3.
The Bears added on a valuable insurance run in the top of the eighth when a single by Derrick Workman was followed up by a throwing error by the FGCU shortstop which allowed Workman to score from first base to give Mercer a 5-3 lead.
Junior Dimitri Kourtis would do the rest from there, throwing 3.1 innings of scoreless relief to secure the series finale win and improve his record up to a perfect 5-0 this season.
Moorhouse and Edgeworth finished the day as the two top hitters in the Bears lineup, each finishing 2-for-3 with a run scored in the win.
Nyquist pitched well in his traditional Sunday starting role, earning a no-decision after allowing two runs on five hits to go along with two strikeouts in 4.2 innings pitched.
Mercer is now off all of next week due to final exams and won't return to the diamond until May 6, when it travels to Gainesville for a match-up against No. 12 Florida.