LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

Mercer baseball head coach Craig Gibson won his 350th career game as part of a doubleheader sweep over Northern Kentucky on Saturday evening at Claude Smith Field.

Mercer (31-10, 14-4 A-Sun) won game one of the doubleheader 10-3 before earning an 8-2 win the nightcap.

The Bears now sit alone in first place in the Atlantic Sun Conference standings, but are tied in the loss column with second place Florida Gulf Coast who the Orange and Black take on next weekend in Fort Myers.

Mercer is now 22-2 at home this season, with its .917 home winning percentage trailing only Cal Poly and Virginia (.920) for the highest home winning percentage in the nation this season.

The Bears are now a perfect 10-0 in the five doubleheaders they have played in this season and have swept a three-game weekend series from an opponent for the fifth time in 2014.

Senior Michael Massi had a monster day at the plate in the doubleheader sweep for Mercer, going 6-for-9 with two doubles, three runs scored and six RBI.

Game one of the double dip once again saw Northern Kentucky jump out to an early lead. Home runs by Jordan Procyshen and Logan Spurlin gave the Norse a 3-1 lead over Mercer in the top of the third inning.

The Bears would respond in the bottom half of the third, however, using an RBI double by freshman Charlie Madden and an RBI single by senior Derrick Workman to tie the game up at 3-3.

Mercer went on the offensive from that point forward, scoring at least one run in each of the final five innings of the contest to pull away for a 10-3 win.

Bears starter Grant Papelian settled down nicely after a rough start to throw six innings and allow just the three runs on six hits to pick up his fourth win of the season.

Game two of the day started with both teams failing to score over the first two innings of play.

Mercer broke up the scoreless tie with a three run bottom of the third. RBI singles by Massi and senior Nick Backlund and an RBI double by Workman made the score 3-0 Bears.

With the score 4-2, the Bears put the game out of reach in the bottom of the fifth when Massi deliver a three-RBI bases clearing double to make the score 7-2.

Bears starter Eric Nyquist did the rest from there, throwing his fourth-straight complete game by throwing seven innings and allowing two runs on six hits to go along with five strikeouts to improve his record up to a perfect 7-0.

Junior Chesny Young went 5-for-6 with three RBI and two runs scored in two games while freshman Kyle Lewis went a combined 4-for-4 with four runs scored and three RBI in the doubleheader sweep.

Mercer is back in action on April 22 when it welcomes No. 25 Georgia Tech to Claude Smith Field for a 6 p.m. start time.

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://on.wmaz.com/1kNTfvY