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Kevin Fagan and the Hatters visit Mercer this weekend.
by: Stetson University
Hatters Face A-Sun Leader Mercer
Courtesy: Stetson University  
Release:  05/08/2014
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First Pitch
With a spot in the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament within their reach, the Hatters visit league-leading Mercer for a three-game series, beginning 6 p.m., Friday in Macon, Ga.
    The Hatters enter the weekend in seventh place, a half-game ahead of Jacksonville for the eighth and final post-season tournament spot. USC Upstate is ninth among eligible teams, and trails the Hatters by 4.5 games in the standings. The top eight teams in the A-Sun advance to the A-Sun baseball Championship, May 21-125 at Swanson Stadium in Ft. Myers.
    Stetson won its second A-Sun series of the year last weekend, taking two of three games from JU.
   
Stetson vs. Mercer
Stetson and Mercer have met 126 times prior to this weekend, in a series which dates back to the infancy of college baseball. The Hatters and Bears first met in 1914, and have played each other at least once every year since  the conference changed its baseball scheduling from divisions to round-robin play in 1999.
    Currently the two longest-tenured schools in the A-Sun, the Stetson-Mercer rivalry will at least temporarily be placed on hold when Mercer departs for the Southern Conference in July.
    The Hatters are 34-21 all-time in Macon, and have won 10 of the last 13 meetings with the Bears. Head coach Pete Dunn is 75-27 in his career against Mercer.

Offensive Improvement
When Stetson opened the 2014 season with a 2-11 record, it wasn’t hard to figure out why. In their first 13 games, the Hatters hit just .193 and averaged 1.7 runs per game. But since a 10-7 win over Siena on March 8, the Hatters are hitting .284 and averaging 5.3 runs per game.
    The offensive improvement has been even more significant for the Hatters in Atlantic Sun Conference play, where Stetson is batting .295 as a team, while averaging nearly six runs per game.
    After hitting .262 as a team in 2013 but slugging just .321, the Hatters have improved their extra-base hit production in 2014. Stetson has more doubles (100-75) and home runs (16-7) in 50 games than the 2013 squad had in 57 contests. Patrick Mazeika led the Hatters with three home runs last season. This year, both Garrett Russini and Mike Fernland have connected for four round trippers.
    Stetson’s 100 doubles represent the highest team number since the 2011 squad laced 111 two-baggers. The 2014 squad is on pace to surpass that total.

Freshman of Influence
Right-hander Taylor Cockrell has arguably been Stetson’s best starting pitcher this season, and his performance this season has put him in some pretty elite history as far as Stetson freshman pitchers are concerned.
    Cockrell won his fifth game of the season on Sunday, the most victories for a Stetson freshman since Justin Dechert won six games in 2007.
    With 78.1 innings under his belt and at least two starts remaining, Cockrell has already thrown the most innings by a freshman since Chris Ingoglia hurled 79.2 frames in 2004.

Mazeika Named Academic All-District
Sophomore Patrick Mazeika (Wilbraham, Mass.) has been named to the Capital One Academic All-District IV First team, as chosen by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), the organization announced on Thursday. Mazeika boasts a 3.56 GPA in Sports Management.
    With his selection to the all-district first-team, Mazeika now moves on to the Capital One Academic All-American ballot.
    Mazeika leads the Hatters and ranks fourth in the Atlantic Sun Conference with a .376 batting average. Through 49 games, he has 17 doubles, two home runs, 20 RBI and a team-high 37 runs scored. His .493 on-base average is second in the A-Sun.
    Since 1952, CoSIDA has honored more than 20,000 outstanding student-athletes. The program used to select teams from just two divisions -- the University Division, comprised of Division I schools; and the College Division, which included Division II, Division III, NAIA schools, and 2-year colleges. To better honor the diversity of collegiate talent, however, the program was expanded in 2011 to include four divisions: Division I, Division II, Division III, and the College division that includes NAIA, two-year colleges, and Canadian schools.

Three Dot Data

Stetson’s sweep of Lipscomb was its second weekend sweep of the year (Siena) and its first in A-Sun play since sweeping Northern Kentucky last season (May 10-12) ... with 16 home runs as a team Stetson has more than doubled its homer out-put from last season (7) ... thru 50 games this season, the Hatters have collected 123 extra-base hits. In 57 games in 2013, Stetson recorded 91 XBH ... after going 88 games without a multi-homer game, Stetson has hit two home runs in a game four times this season, including both games of Sunday’s doubleheader with Jacksonville ... OF Mike Fernland and DH Josh Powers each connected for their first career home runs in the first game of Stetson’s doubleheader at Northern Kentucky (April 5) ... both homers came in the seventh inning, the first time the Hatters have hit multiple home runs in the same inning since May13, 2012 at ETSU ... when SS Tyler Bocock and C Garrett Russini each homered in the first game of Stetson’s doubleheader at ETSU it marked the first time the Hatters had more than one home run in a game since also hitting a pair at ETSU on May 13, 2012, a span of 88 games ... head coach Pete Dunn is two victories shy of 1,250 for his career.

Up Next
The Hatters close out the 2014 regular-season when they host USC Upstate for a three-game A-Sun series, beginning 6:30 p.m., Thursday, May 15 at Melching Field. The series will be the final homestand for seniors Robert Bruce, Mike Fernland, Austin Perez, Kurt Schluter, K’Shawn Smith and Kyle Zech.

Stetson Baseball


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