FRIDAY, MARCH 21, 2014
GAMEDAY: Three Game Set vs Mercer Starts Friday 6:30 pm
Braddock Rowe (Photo by Skip Tapp)
Braddock Rowe (Photo by Skip Tapp)

Following a five game road swing, Jacksonville (5-13; 1-2 A-Sun) welcomes a return home to Sessions Stadium this weekend for a three game set against Atlantic Sun Preseason favorite Mercer (16-6; 2-1 A-Sun). The series gets underway on Friday at 6:30 pm following by 2:00 pm on Saturday and 1:00 pm on Sunday.  All three games of the series will be broadcasted on 92.5 FM. Friday and Saturday will also be simulcasted online through ASun.TV.

Following a 7-6 series finale win at Lipscomb last Saturday the Dolphins dropped a 6-2 decision in a mid-week affair at Bethune-Cookman on Wednesday. The Bears meanwhile are coming off a 2-1 series win over Kennesaw State after they were rained out of a mid-week game on Tuesday.

RHP Alex McRae (1-3; 5.46 ERA, 30 K) will take the mound for Jacksonville on Friday night. He will go opposite Ryan Askew (1-3, 2.21 ERA, 27 K). McRae struck out eight in five innings while allowing five runs, four earned in the Dolphins win at Lipscomb last Saturday night. He is tied for the league lead with six starts this season and is fourth with 30 strikeouts. Askew meanwhile is coming off a loss to Kennesaw State from last Friday in which he went 7.1 innings allowing two runs, one earned on five hits in a 2-1 loss by the Bears.

On Saturday LHP Josh Baker (1-1, 2.77 ERA, 15 K) gets the ball for Jacksonville while RHP Brandon Barker (2-0, 3.77 ERA, 15 K) starts for Mercer.  Baker leads the Dolphins and ranks eighth among all pitchers in the A-Sun with a 2.77 ERA. He tossed one scoreless inning on Wednesday night after going 4.1 innings in his first loss of the year last Friday at Lipscomb. Barker last saw action on March 4 against Florida A&M when he started and pitched one scoreless inning.

Sunday will see the Dolphins RHP Justin Russell (2-1, 5.64 ERA, 17 K) matched up against RHP Eric Nyquist (3-0, 5.02 ERA, 17 K) for the Bears. Russell went four innings in a start in game one at Lipscomb last Saturday. Russell has excelled on Sunday’s this season owning a 2-0 record while posting a 1.56 ERA and 12 strikeouts in 17.1 innings. Nyquist is tied for third in the league in wins this season.

Sophomore Dylan Dillard hit a team best .417 in the series at Lipscomb last week and is 11 for his last 29 (.379) with three doubles and four RBI in the last seven games. Connor Marabell meanwhile has hit safely in all but three games this season. He leads the Dolphins with six multi-hit games and own a .338 average with a team high 11 RBI.