3/4/2014 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 360
FGCU - Jack English (0-0) | 4.91 ERA, 7.1 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 7 SO
Michigan - Alex Lakatos | has not appeared yet this season
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Following a 2-1 defeat last Thursday of a Florida team that was nationally ranked at the time, the FGCU baseball team (6-6) dropped its last three games in Gainesville over the weekend and will be looking to bounce back in a big way against Big Ten foe Michigan (2-8-1) on Tuesday afternoon at 2 p.m.
Fans with a valid ticket to the FGCU men's basketball Atlantic Sun Championship Quarterfinal game vs. Stetson in Alico Arena at 7 p.m. will be admitted to the baseball game for free. The first 100 children, ages 12 and under, will receive an FGCU baseball fan pack while supplies last.
Jack English (Delray Beach, Fla./Cardinal Newman) will take the mound for the Green and Blue against Michigan, making his second start of the 2014 season. In his first start of the year, opposite Rhode Island, English tossed 5.0 innings of five-hit ball, allowing three runs and striking out four. In his three appearances out of the bullpen since, the junior has gone a combined 2.1 innings, given up three earned runs and struck out three.
English will square off with senior right-hander Alex Lakatos who has not made an appearance for the Wolverines yet this season.
Michigan is in the midst of a spring trip that has taken them from San Marcos, Texas to Houston to Raleigh, N.C. to Cary, N.C. and now to into Florida where they will play six games against Florida based schools.
The Wolverines have struggled to get the bats rolling in 2014, batting just .230 and driving in 30 runs. The arms have compiled a 3.62 ERA with Ben Ballantine leading the way with a 0.95. Balentine also leads Michigan with 19.0 innings pitched. Kyle Jusick paces the offense with a .353 average while Jackson Glines has provided the power, lifting two home runs and slugging .458.
The Eagles currently hold a 3-1 series lead over Michigan, including three-straight wins. Last season the Green and Blue knocked off the Wolverines by a score of 11-6. Michigan took the first ever meeting in 2010, 13-7. All four games in the series have been played at Swanson Stadium.
LAST TIME OUT
The Eagles dropped both of their games this past Saturday to Illinois (5-4) and Florida (6-5) by a combined score of 13-1 as the bats failed the Eagles all day, emphasized by a three-hit performance against Florida in the night cap. Over the last four games the Eagles are hitting just .165, scoring only five runs while the arms have compiled a 3.97 ERA, allowing 17 runs and striking out 22.
Mike Murray (West Palm Beach, Fla./Forrest Hill HS) tossed 7.1 innings against the nationally ranked Florida Gators, surrendered just one run and struck out four to guide the Green and Blue to the victory last Thursday night. The stellar effort from the sophomore has been rewarded with an Atlantic Sun Pitcher of the Week nod as announced by the conference office earlier Monday morning.
Murray loaded the bases in the first, worked out of the jam and it was smooth sailing from there for the sophomore. He would allow just three hits over the second through seventh innings and for the second-consecutive start would not give up an earned run. In 21.2 innings this season Murray has allowed just one earned run, striking out 17 and lowering his ERA to 0.42.
Murray’s 0.42 ERA currently checks in at second in the league and his 17 strikeouts rank third. The Eagles are 3-0 in Murray starts. Last season the Eagle ace posted a 2.93 ERA and a 5-1 record, striking out 55 batters.
PRESEASON A-SUN AWARDS
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.
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 or visit the ticket office at 239-590-7145.