#FGCU Readies for Showdowns with No. 1 Florida State and Florida A&M
Monday, March 31, 2014 | by Matt Moretti III (@Moretts13)
Photo Courtesy: Linwood Ferguson
Photo Courtesy: Linwood Ferguson
FGCU (18-11)
#1 Florida State (23-5)
4/1/2014 | Tallahassee, Fla. | Attendance: 4685
Florida State00110006X882
Win: Gage Smith (4-0) 3.010001
Loss: ANDERSON (1-1) 1.012200
NOLL (FGCU) 411010
SUCHY (FGCU) 401000
DIAZ (FGCU) 311101
Casey Smit (FS) 412200

Apr. 1, 2 | Dick Houser Stadium | Moore-Kittles Field | 6 PM, 1 PM

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Game Notes | FGCU | FSU 

Social | @FGCU_Baseball | FGCU Baseball (FB)

Tuesday, April. 1 vs. No. 1 Florida State – 6 p.m.
FGCU | Brady Anderson (1-1, 7 SV): 3.29 ERA, 13.2 IP, 17 H, 9 R, 5 ER, 5 BB, 8 SO
FSU | Peter Miller (1-2): 5.95 ERA, 19.2 IP, 19 H, 14 R, 13 ER, 14 BB, 26 SO

- The FGCU baseball team (18-10, 5-1 Atlantic Sun) has gotten off to a hot start in conference play but will take a break to travel to Tallahassee this week for a Tuesday evening tilt with the nation’s top team in Florida State (22-5, 10-2 ACC) before taking on Florida A&M (10-16, 7-4 MEAC) on Wednesday.

Brady Anderson (Arcadia, Fla./DeSoto HS)
will take a break from his duties as the Eagles’ closer to take the ball as the starter against the Seminoles on Tuesday night marking the fourth start of Anderson’s career and the first since the 2012 season since he sat out all of 2013 with an injury. The Arcadia, Fla. native has registered seven saves this season as the FGCU ninth-inning-man to lead the A-Sun in that category and stand in a tie for fourth in the nation.

Anderson will square off with Peter Miller who in five starts on the mound this season has posted a 5.95 ERA in 19.2 innings pitched while allowing 13 earned runs, walking 14 and striking out 26.

FGCU will square off with Florida State for the seventh time and the last four have come with FSU ranked as one of the top 10 teams in the nation. FGCU is 1-5 all-time against FSU. This will be the fifth time in program history that the Green and Blue will square off with the top team in the nation and the first time against the Seminoles. Miami defeated FGCU as the No. 1 team in 2008 by a score of 4-2 in 11 innings. FGCU then took on No. 1 Florida in Gainesville in a three-game series in 2012 but were swept. The Eagles are 11-27 all-time against nationally ranked opponents, 3-13 against teams ranked in the top 10 and 1-6 against those ranked in the top five. FGCU is currently 1-2 against ranked teams this season.  

The Seminoles are led at the plate by DJ Steward who batting .380 with four homeruns and 22 RBI to go with 26 runs and 11 doubles. Jose Brizuela follows closely behind Stewart with a .323 batting average, 23 runs scored, six doubles, two homeruns and 25 RBI. John Nogowski leads the team with 28 RBI while Ben DeLuzio has provided the speed on the base-paths going a perfect 8-8 when stealing. Two-sport star and 2013 NCAA Football Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston has been the rock in the bullpen for the Seminoles, picking up four saves in 13.0 innings while posting a 0.69 ERA and striking out 13 batters.

While the pitching outside of Michael Murray (West Palm Beach, Fla./Forrest Hill HS) struggled this weekend at Stetson, the bats had arguably their best weekend of the season. Opposite the Hatters, Zack Tillery (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier HS) and Colton Bottomley (Davie, Fla./Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS) combined to go 17-26, scoring eight runs, collecting six doubles, homering three times and collecting 11 RBI over three games. Michael Suchy (Bradenton, Fla./Southeast HS) pitched in a 4-14 weekend with one homerun and four RBI.   

Murray took the ball on Saturday at Stetson despite having his start pushed back a day and tossed the first complete game of his career and the first for any FGCU starter this season. He would give up seven hits, walk one, strikeout four and allow two runs, both earned. Those two earned runs in the sixth inning snapped a streak of 43.1 innings during which Murray did not allow an earned run and saw his ERA drop as low as 0.18. After Saturday’s complete game Murray now boasts a stellar 0.50 ERA with 53 strikeouts, both of which lead the A-Sun, against just six walks.

FGCU put together two completely different games on Sunday afternoon opposite Stetson, falling 18-9 in the first game of the doubleheader before bouncing back with a 4-3 victory to clinch the series. 

Two individuals stood out at the plate on Sunday afternoon. Tillery and Bottomley each delivered five-hit performances to pace the offense. Tillery went 5-5 with three runs batted in in game one while Bottomley put together a game for the ages in game two, going 5-5 with a single, a homerun and three doubles, scoring twice and driving in two, including the eventual game-winning run in the top of the ninth.

FGCU swept the Rattlers when they visited Swanson Stadium a couple weeks ago, winning the three games by a combined score of 27-6. FAMU has started play in the MEAC with a 7-4 record and continue to be led by Bennie Robinson, Logan Seymore and Jared Walker at the plate who are all hitting .374, .364 and .350, respectively.

The coaches of the A-Sun have chosen FGCU to finish third out of 10 in the preseason voting. The Eagles received two first-place votes and finished behind only reigning Regular Season Champion Mercer and North Florida, respectively.

Mercer received 97 points to go with seven first place votes followed by North Florida with 86 points and one first place vote. The Eagles finished with 73 points and two first place votes. ETSU (69), Kennesaw State (64), Stetson (60), Lipscomb (34), USC Upstate (30), Jacksonville (27) and Northern Kentucky (10) round out the 10-team poll. Both Mercer and 2013 A-Sun Tournament Champion ETSU advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season. The top eight teams in the standings at the end of the regular season will advance to the 2014 A-Sun Championship Tournament hosted by FGCU at Swanson Stadium May 21-25.

FGCU saw seven players drafted off the roster last season into Major League Baseball. Head coach Dave Tollett has now had 20 players drafted over his 12-year stint heading up the program. The most notable of FGCU Eagles in the pros is two-time MLB All-Star Chris Sale who posted an 11-14 record for the Chicago White Sox last season with a 3.07 ERA. He struck out 226 batters in 214.1 innings pitched, picked up the win in the 2013 All-Star Game and ultimately finished fifth in the American League Cy Young Award voting. Sale earned his second opening day start for the White Sox on Monday afternoon and tossed 7.1 innings of five-hit ball, allowed three runs, walked one and struck out eight to do his part in picking up the 5-3 victory.

Single-game tickets for FGCU Baseball are available at a cost of $6 for adults and $3 for children. Season tickets are also available. For more ticket information and additional deals, visit FGCUathletics.com/tickets, or call the ticket office at 239-590-7145.