DELAND, Fla. (School Release) - Forced into playing its second game of the day due to previous weather conflicts, the No. 1 seeded Mercer baseball team was eliminated from the 2013 Atlantic Sun Tournament following its 10-1 loss to No. 8 USC Upstate on Friday evening at Melching Field.
With tonight's loss, Mercer's (43-16) 12-game winning streak against USC Upstate (28-29) comes to an end and ensures that the Bears exit the A-Sun Tournament with a 1-2 record for the second-straight year.
After a scoreless first inning for both teams, USC Upstate erupted for a five-run rally off a trio of Mercer relievers in the top of the second. A pair of RBI singles, a sacrifice fly and a hit by pitch with the bases loaded plated the Spartans runs to give them an early 5-0 lead.
That same score would hold up over the next several innings as USC Upstate starter Gaither Bumgardner and Mercer reliever Eric Nyquist matched zeros on the mound.
Upstate would continue their assault on Mercer pitching eventually in the top of the fifth. A passed ball and a two-RBI single by senior Trey Richardson plated three more runs in the frame to make the score 8-0 Spartans.
That would be plenty of run support for Bumgardner, who kept the Bears hitters guessing all night long. The 6-6 right-hander went eight innings and allowed just one run on eight hits while striking out nine to earn the win.
Sophomore Chesny Young went 2-for-3 in the loss with an RBI to extend his hitting streak up to a career-long 28 games. Young now has 100 hits on the season which leads the nation and is tied for sixth-most in A-Sun Conference single-season history.
Senior David Teasley made his 45th relief appearance of 2013 in the contest, which sets a new A-Sun Conference single-season record previously held by Stetson's Tom Hickox back in 1988.
Mercer will now have to wait until Selection Monday to hear its fate in the upcoming NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament. The NCAA selection show airs on ESPNU at 12 Noon (ET) on Monday, May 27. With an RPI of 26 and a 13-6 record against the RPI top-100, there is a strong chance that the Bears will receive their first at-large bid in program history.