MACON, Ga. (School Release) - Highlighted by 27 home games, two non-conference tournaments and home-and-home match ups with in-state rivals Georgia Tech and Georgia Southern, the Mercer baseball team released its 2013 schedule on Tuesday morning.
Mercer finished last season with a 38-21 overall record and its seventh-straight Atlantic Sun Tournament appearance and is challenging itself with a daunting 2013 schedule that features 10 games against five teams that participated in the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
"I definitely think our 2013 schedule we put together for our players is going to be very challenging because of all the different places and new opponents we will be facing this season," head coach Craig Gibson said. "We have a couple big tests early on with Ohio State, St. John's and Notre Dame and several games lined up against 2012 NCAA Tournament teams such as Bethune Cookman, Georgia Tech, Indiana State and Belmont that should be a good test for our team."
The Bears' 56-game slate begins on the road, for the first time since 2009, when they travel to Sarasota, Florida to take part in the Snowbird Baseball Classic. Mercer hits the field first against Big 10 power Ohio State on Feb. 15, followed by Big East Conference champion St. John's on Feb. 16 and Notre Dame on Feb. 17.
After a mid-week contest at Alabama State on Feb. 19, Mercer kicks off its 2013 home schedule with a three-game series on Feb. 22-24 against Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion Bethune Cookman at Claude Smith Field. The Bears stay at home the following weekend when it hosts Miami of Ohio in a three-game set for the first time since 1965 on March 1-2.
Up next for the Orange and Black is the first of two mid-week tilts against Atlantic Coast Conference champion Georgia Tech. The Bears play the Yellow Jackets on March 5 in Atlanta and April 2 in Macon and have won three of the last four meetings in the series.
Mercer then heads to the Midwest to play four games in the Indiana State Tournament in Terre Haute, Indiana. The Bears play South Dakota State on March 8 and 9 before taking on tournament host and 2012 NCAA Tournament participant Indiana State on March 9 and 10.
Coming back from Indiana, Mercer will welcome Georgia Southern to Claude Smith Field for the first time since 2008. The Bears play the Eagles on March 12 in Macon and in Statesboro on April 16, where they have won their last two meetings over Georgia Southern.
For the second consecutive year, Mercer opens Atlantic Sun Conference play against in-state rival Kennesaw State on the road on March 15-17. Other road conference series include Stetson (March 22-24), North Florida (April 12-14), USC-Upstate (April 26-28) and Northern Kentucky (May 16-18).
The Bears begin their A-Sun Conference home schedule against Jacksonville on March 28-30. Other league series to be played at Claude Smith Field this season include Florida Gulf Coast (April 5-7), Lipscomb (April 19-21) and East Tennessee State (May 10-12).
The 2013 A-Sun Baseball Championship will be played on May 22-25 in DeLand, Fla. at Melching Field at Conrad Park, the home stadium of Stetson University.