@FGCU_Baseball Travels to Stetson Looking to Extend Hot Start in A-Sun Play
Thursday, March 27, 2014 | by Matt Moretti III (@Moretts13)
Photo Courtesy: Linwood Ferguson
Photo Courtesy: Linwood Ferguson
FGCU (17-9, 4-0 ASUN)
Stetson (9-17, 1-3 ASUN)
3/29/2014 | DeLand, Fla. | Attendance: 500
Win: MURRAY (6-0) 9.072214
Loss: Adam Schaly (0-1) 5.143312
Patrick Mazeika (STET) 413000

Mar. 28-30 | Melching Field | 5:30 PM, 2 PM, 1 PM

Game Links | Live Stats | Tickets | Video

Game Notes | A-Sun | FGCU | Stetson

Social | @FGCU_Baseball | FGCU Baseball (FB)

Game 1 – Friday, Mar. 28 – 6:30 p.m.
FGCU – Mike Murray (5-0): 0.20 ERA, 44.2 IP, 30 H, 8 R, 1 ER, 5 BB, 49 SO
STET – Austin Perez (0-4): 4.59 ERA, 33.1 IP, 45 H, 19 R, 17 ER, 11 BB, 18 SO

Game 2 – Saturday, Mar. 29 – 2 p.m.
FGCU – Nick Deckert (4-2): 1.64 ERA, 38.1 IP, 46 H, 11 R, 7 ER, 5 BB, 38 SO
STET – Josh Powers (2-3): 5.02 ERA, 28.2 IP, 35 H, 17 R, 16 ER, 13 BB, 11 SO

Game 3 – Sunday, Mar. 30 – 1 p.m.
FGCU – Jack English (1-1): 2.35 ERA, 23.0 IP, 16 H, 11 R, 6 ER, 7 BB, 20 SO
STET – Taylor Cockrell (2-2): 4.08 ERA, 35.1 IP, 39 H, 17 R, 16 ER, 11 BB, 30 SO

DeLAND, Fla.
­­– The FGCU baseball team (16-9, 3-0 Atlantic Sun) will hit the road for a second-consecutive weekend to continue A-Sun play at Stetson (9-16, 1-2 A-Sun) looking to build upon its first 3-0 start in league play since the 2010 season. The Eagles’ best start to A-Sun play came in the 2009 season when they won their first six games against conference opponents.

FGCU began A-Sun play last weekend at USC-Upstate (9-17, 1-5 A-Sun) and came away with a three-game sweep by a combined score of 29-5. The Eagles generated season highs in both hits and runs with 20 and 17, respectively, in the final game of the series after shutting out the Spartans over the first two games, the first back-to-back shutouts for FGCU this season.

FGCU leads the all-time series with the Hatters 13-6 including a 6-0 mark over the last two years. Stetson swept the Green and Blue in 2011 but has not won any other series pitting these two programs against each other. FGCU also took the only postseason meeting with the Hatters.

Stetson comes into the series coming off of a victory over Florida A&M on Wednesday but dropped two of three to East Tennessee State to open up A-Sun play last weekend. The Hatters have been relatively hot lately, winning seven of their last 12 games after dropping 11 of their first 13. The turnaround has been highlighted by a three-game sweep of Siena and a 7-3 win over No. 13 Miami on Mar. 12.

Patrick Mazeika leads the way with the bat for the Hatters with his .314 batting average and team-best 27 hits; Josh Powers and Garrett Russini pace Stetson with 10 RBI each. Of the three starters projected for the weekend, none have and ERA better than 4.08 and have a combined record of 4-9 on the mound with a total of 59 strikeouts between them.

Eagle ace Mike Murray (West Palm Beach, Fla./Forrest Hill HS) threw 8.0 scoreless innings against Upstate, striking out 10, walking none and allowing a career-low two hits to pick up his fifth-consecutive victory last Friday. His efforts earned him his third A-Sun Pitcher of the Week award and second-consecutive, the most of any pitcher in the A-Sun this season. Murray’s five wins, 49 strikeouts and 0.20 ERA all lead the league while his ERA also ranks second in the nation. Since giving up one earned run to Rhode Island in his opening day start, Murray has gone 38.0 innings without allowing an earned run. He is the defined leader of a pitching staff that boasts a 2.27 ERA which stands 12th in the nation.

Not to be ignored, Nick Deckert (Tallahassee, Fla./Tallahassee CC) has quietly put together a stellar season to this point as well. In his first year in the Green and Blue, Deckert has compiled a 1.64 ERA, which ranks third in the league, second among starters, 38.1 IP and sits behind only Murray in the A-Sun standings with 38 strikeouts. In three of his six starts, Deckert has kept an earned run off the board, including a pair of 7.0 inning outings against Manhattan and USC-Upstate during which he struck out 10 and five batters, respectively.

At the plate, the Eagles have been sparked by redshirt-freshman, second baseman, Jake Noll (Punta Gorda, Fla./Charlotte HS) who has batted a team-best .352 from the leadoff spot, starting all 25 games. His 38 hits rank fourth in the A-Sun while his 16 stolen bases not only lead the league but stand in a tie for fourth in the nation.  

FGCU struggled at the plate Wednesday night, registering just two hits, a season-low, en route to a 4-0 shutout at the hands of the Miami Hurricanes. Miami increased its lead in the all-time series to 9-1. Zack Tillery (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier HS) took the ball for the Green and Blue on Wednesday and for the second time in as many starts against Miami. He would take the loss this time tossing 4.0 innings while giving up eight hits that resulted in three earned runs, walking just one and striking out three. It is just the second time this season that FGCU has been shut out, the first coming at Florida on March 1.

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 the ticket office at 239-590-7145.