A-Sun Conference Play Opens This Week for Eight Teams

Friday, March 16, 2012

MACON, Ga. - The 2012 Atlantic Sun Conference baseball season begins this Friday with eight of the ten teams in action, while Stetson hosts Rutgers and Jacksonville welcomes Western Carolina and Fairfield.

Atlantic Sun Baseball Notes:
  • In conference opening series over the past two seasons, ETSU has posted the best record (4-0) amongst A-Sun teams, while FGCU and Jacksonville earned the most wins with identical 5-1 records. Kennesaw State is the only other team with a winning record (4-2) in league opening series.
  • Over the past three seasons in conference play, one team stands out with the best record, FGCU (64-26). The Eagles posted win totals of 25 in 2010 and 23 in 2009 to earn the top spot. Stetson followed the Eagles with a 53-34 mark just ahead of Jacksonville (52-34) and Kennesaw State (50-35). Mercer (45-38) and Belmont (45-41) also achieved winning records over the last three seasons.
  • Only three A-Sun teams have earned winning conference records in the past three seasons; FGCU, Jacksonville and Stetson. The Eagles own the longest streak with four-straight.
  • Through the first few weeks of the 2012 season, the A-Sun owns a .600 winning percentage (99-66) and has a .500 or better record against 17 of the 24 conferences it has squared off against. As a whole, the A-Sun has .750 winning percentage against 11 conferences including; Atlantic 10, Big Ten, Colonial, Horizon, Mountain West, Sun Belt, America East, Ivy, MAAC, MEAC and SWAC.
  • The Hatters jumped up to No. 14 in this week’s Collegiate Baseball Newspaper poll after taking three of four from Harvard last week. USC Upstate joined the Hatters in receiving votes in the NCBWA poll. In the College Baseball Daily Mid-Major Poll, Stetson claimed the second spot in the top-25 rankings, while North Florida and the Spartans joined SU in the poll at No. 23 and No. 25, respectively. Mercer and Belmont were also under consideration for the rankings.
  • Belmont’s Dylan Craig, an unanimous preseason all-conference selection, continues to lead all active A-Sun baseball student-athletes in hits (280) and runs scored (167). His career hits total is only 14 away from taking over 10th place in A-Sun history.
  • Several A-Sun coaches reached career milestones recently with Jacksonville’s Terry Alexander netting his 700th career win on Mar. 7th vs. USF. Belmont’s Mike Jarvis earned his 400th career victory as the Bruins Head Coach, while Mercer’s Craig Gibson tallied his 250th victory on 3/6. Lipscomb’s Jeff Forehand also reached 350 career wins last weekend. Kennesaw State’s Mike Sansing needs seven for 900 wins and North Florida’s Smoke Laval will reach 500 wins with 10 more., while Stetson’s Pete Dunn is 20 wins away from an astounding 1,200 career victories.
  • In the recent release of the NCAA Statistical Rankings; 10 A-Sun student-athletes ranked in the top-five nationally for respective categories. Mercer’s Nick Backlund led the way as he landed in the top-five for hits, doubles, home runs, RBI, slugging percentage and total bases. On the pitching side, ETSU’s John Long ranks fifth for wins with four.
    A-Sun Active Career Hits Leaders
    Rank Player (Team)
    Hits
    1. Dylan Craig (Belmont) 280
    2. Mark Jones (Stetson) 230
    3. Robert Crews (Stetson) 228
    4. Andrew Karmeris (North Florida) 216
    5. Matthew Scruggs (ETSU) 203

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