@FGCU_Baseball Looks to Extend Winning Streak with Florida A&M in Town
Thursday, March 13, 2014 | by Matt Moretti III (@Moretts13)
Photo Courtesy: Linwood Ferguson
Photo Courtesy: Linwood Ferguson
FAMU (6-11)
FGCU (11-7)
3/14/2014 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 515
Win: MURRAY (4-0) 7.0400113
Loss: JARRELL (1-2) 5.095413
MOREY (FGCU) 424200

Mar. 14-16 | Swanson Stadium | 6:30 PM, 5:30 PM, Noon

Game Links | Live Stats | Tickets

Social | @FGCU_Baseball | FGCU Baseball (FB)

Game 1 – Friday, Mar. 14 – 6:30 PM
Mike Murray (3-0) – 0.30 ERA, 29.2 IP, 24 H, 8 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 26 SO

Game 2 – Saturday, Mar. 15 – 5:30 PM
Nick Deckert (2-2) – 1.71 ERA, 26.1 IP, 32 H, 9 R, 5 ER, 5 BB, 26 SO

Game 3 – Sunday, Mar. 16 - Noon
Zack Tillery (1-1) – 1.64 ERA, 11.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 SO

FORT MYERS, Fla. ­­– Winners of four-straight, the FGCU baseball team (10-7) looks to continue its winning way when it hosts Florida A&M University (7-9) this weekend in a three-game set at Swanson Stadium, beginning Friday night (Mar. 14) at 6:30 p.m.

Mike Murray (West Palm Beach, Fla./Forrest Hill HS) will be the Eagles starter in the Friday night game against the Rattlers. He heads into this matchup with a 3-0 record, and a 0.30 ERA which currently ranks 20th in the nation.

Nick Deckert (Tallahassee, Fla./Tallahassee CC) takes the mound Saturday evening for the Green and Blue where he hopes to improve his record to 3-2 to go along with his 1.71 ERA. Last time out against Manhattan he tossed seven innings of one-run ball and struck out a season-high ten batters.

Zack Tillery (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier HS) looks to pick up his second win of the season Sunday afternoon when he steps on the hill. Last time out he went seven innings where he tossed the first six innings of the ball game without allowing a hit and fanned a career-high eight to earn his first win of the season.

The Green and Blue hold a 2-0 series lead over the Rattlers heading into this weekend’s series. The Eagles played FAMU for the first time last year where they won both games in Tallahassee, outscoring them 26-7 in the two game sweep.

Last year Florida A&M had an overall record of 7-47, so far this season they have six wins in 16 games bringing them within one win of matching last year’s total. The Rattlers come into this game having been outscored 75-48 by their opponents this year.

Brad Labozzetta (Lakeland, Fla./Lakeland HS) made his fourth start and struggled once again, getting through just two innings of work and allowed two runs on two hits, walking three and striking out three. Sterling Koerner (Fort Pierece, Fla./John Carrol HS) tossed six scoreless innings of relief, striking out four and picking up his second win in the process. Brady Anderson (Arcadia, Fla./DeSoto HS) came on in the ninth and picked up his third save of the series and seventh of the season which leads the nation.

In the bottom half of the third Jake Noll (Punta Gorda, Fla./Charlotte HS) singled for a second time to lead things off and stole second for a second time giving him 11 on the year, just nine shy of the single-season record for FGCU and tying him for the second most steals in the nation.

Andrew Valencia (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep) drove in his second run of the day when he hit a sacrifice fly giving the Eagles a 3-2 lead. Gage Morey (West Palm Beach, Fla./PB Central) moved up to third on a groundout and then scored on a pass ball to give the Green and Blue a 4-2 edge through six.

With runners on first and second and one away in the bottom half of the seventh, Zack Tillery (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier HS) ripped a single to left, driving in Rivera, giving the Green and Blue a 5-2 lead and providing the final score in Sunday’s series finale.

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.

The game time for Saturday’s and Sunday’s matchups against FAMU have been changed due to the Women’s basketball team hosting the Atlantic Sun tournament this weekend. Saturday’s game will be at 5:30 p.m. and Sunday’s game will be at 12:00 p.m.

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.