On a team that features the third-best team batting average in conference history, Mercer's Nick DiMauro's overall average of .353 was good enough to only rank fifth on his own squad, but his bat came up large on Wednesday, to the tune of a Championship record-tying five hits.
He provided the big blow in Mercer's five-run first inning, delivering a two-run double. DiMauro added singles in the third, seventh and eighth innings to a fifth-inning double to complete his 5-for-5 performance.
"It was important because we had a freshman pitcher out there and we got all the jitters out," DiMauro said. "To put five on the board really relaxed everyone which helped us out a lot."
He became the sixth player in A-Sun Championship history to collect five hits in a game and the first since Belmont’s Jason Warpool accomplished the feat against Jacksonville State in 2003.
"We had good preparation and we wanted to come out and score some runs in the first couple of innings," DiMauro said "We did that [which really ] helped out our pitchers."
DiMauro hit only .274 against non-conference foes, but when it mattered most, he turned in the sixth-best average in the A-Sun in conference play, hitting .420. Against the Dolphins, he bolstered that mark, collecting five hits in 10 at bats during their three-game set back in March. As he came to the plate in the eighth, he faced the Dolphins' Baker Chapman, the fourth different Dolphin who tried to cool DiMauro's bat.
"They had a [side-armed pitcher] in as that last pitcher and I'm not really good at hitting off side-armers so I was just trying to put the ball in play," DiMauro said.
With his perfect day at the dish, DiMauro improved his average 17 points in helping the Bears to their first win at the A-Sun Championships since 2007. Though unlikely to face the Dolphins again, three more days like Wednesday from DiMauro could give the Bears their first A-Sun Championship in the sport since 1983.