Mercer baseball preps for in-state rival Georgia Southern

After losing their first series of the season against Kansas State last weekend, the Bears will look to get back on track against Georgia Southern before conference play starts next week./(CTSY: Mercer Athletics)

MACON, Ga. -- It's been a good start to the season for Mercer baseball in terms of defending home turf in the state of Georgia. The Bears are undefeated against in-state opponents after sweeping Kennesaw State in a two-game series and beating Savannah State at home.

They'll look to keep that trend going when they welcome the Georgia Southern Eagles to OrthoGeorgia Park tomorrow for their home half of a two-game season series.

It hasn't been a pretty stretch of games for Mercer against Georgia Southern recently. The Bears have lost their last four games against the Eagles, and Georgia Southern leads the all-time series against Mercer, 109-43-1.

But early in the season, the numbers heavily favor Mercer as the better team through 17 contests. The Bears are 12-5 on the season, while the Eagles are 7-9 and were just swept by Southern Mississippi this past weekend.

The Bears offense has been the biggest reason for this early success. Mercer is hitting .315 as a team and averaging 9.4 runs per game through the team's first 17 contests. But the pitching has also been very strong for Mercer early on. The Bears rank second in the nation with 13.0 strikeouts per nine innings, and is the only team in the nation to have two games with 23 strikeouts from the pitching staff.

Sawyer Gipson-Long will take the mound, looking to build off of the momentum from his last start when he pitched a complete game one-hitter against Savannah State. First pitch will be at 6:00 p.m. at OrthoGeorgia Park.

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