(17-22, 7-10 A-Sun)
(25-15, 10-4 A-Sun)
4/18/2014 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 198
(17-23, 7-11 A-Sun)
(26-15, 11-4 A-Sun)
4/19/2014 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 215
Game 1 – Thursday, April 17 – 6:30 p.m.
FGCU – Mike Murray (8-0): 0.66 ERA, 68.2 IP, 45 H, 12 R, 5 ER, 6 BB, 59 SO
UNF – Nick Miller (0-0): 4.50 ERA, 30.0 IP, 38 H, 18 R, 15 ER, 3 BB, 15 SO
Game 2 – Friday, April 18 – 6:30 p.m.
FGCU – Nick Deckert (5-2): 2.87 ERA, 53.1 IP, 66 H, 24 R, 17 ER, 11 BB, 53 SO
UNF – David Trexler (3-2): 4.13 ERA, 52.1 IP, 51 H, 29 R, 24 ER, 24 BB, 35 SO
Game 3 – Saturday, April 19 – 2 p.m.
FGCU – TBA
UNF – TBA
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Sitting in sole possession of second place in the Atlantic Sun standings, the FGCU baseball team (24-14, 9-3 A-Sun) returns to Swanson Stadium on Thursday evening for the first of a three-game set with North Florida (16-21, 6-9 A-Sun) and the first of six-straight at home against A-Sun opponents as the regular season enters its final month.
FGCU has beaten UNF more times entering the 2014 season than any other A-Sun opponent and hold a 14-6 advantage in the all-time series. On the road last season FGCU took two of three from the Ospreys after dropping the first game of the series, 8-7 in 11 innings. FGCU has never lost a series to UNF and came away with a sweep on two separate occasions.
SCOUTING NORTH FLORIDA
The Ospreys were one of two teams chosen to finish ahead of FGCU when the preseason A-Sun rankings came out. UNF received one first place vote from the league’s coaches and 86 points overall to finish just behind Mercer (97) and 16 points clear of FGCU (73). The pitching has struggled, posting a 4.62 team ERA while the bats are hitting an A-Sun best .302. Drew Weeks currently leads the A-Sun with a .438 average with 67 hits to his credit which also leads the league. Weeks has also doubled seven times, tripled four times, gone deep on six occasions and collected 31 RBI while stealing eight bags.
Mike Murray (West Palm Beach, Fla./Forrest Hill HS) will take the mound on Thursday night in search of his league-leading ninth-consecutive victory. The sophomore rests atop the A-Sun and second in the nation with his 0.66 ERA and is in hot pursuit of the A-Sun single-season record of 1.14 set by Kennesaw State’s Steve Janas just last season. His 59 strikeouts also lead the A-Sun and have already surpassed his freshman season total of 54.
Earlier this season Murray became just the second pitcher in FGCU history to throw back-to-back complete games. Ricky Knapp did so in March of 2012 when he went the distance against North Florida and East Tennessee State in consecutive outings. During his streak of 43.1 innings without allowing an earned run that was snapped at Stetson, Murray’s ERA dropped as low as 0.18 at one point. Last week the West Palm Beach native was named to the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award 50-man midseason watch list. The award recognizes the top amateur baseball player in the country.
Eagles names are littered across the leaderboards in the A-Sun. FGCU ranks fourth in batting (.283) and first in pitching with a 2.84 team ERA. The single-season ERA record in the A-Sun is 2.40. Colton Bottomley (Parkland, Fla./Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS) has exploded into the third spot in the A-Sun with a .410 batting average while Jake Noll (Punta Gorda, Fla./Charlotte HS) sits in 11th with a .353 mark and third in hits with 59. While Murray collects all the recognition on the mound, Jack English (Delray Beach, Fla./Cardinal Newman HS) and Nick Deckert (Tallahassee, Fla./Tallahassee CC) are quietly putting together dominant seasons of their own, posting 2.49 and 2.87 ERA’s which rank third and fifth in the A-Sun, respectively. Nick Rivera (Cape Coral, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) is in a race for the league lead in doubles with 14 while Noll and Gage Morey (West Palm Beach, Fla./PB Central) have set the league standard in the stolen base department with 17 and 12 which rank No. 1 and No. 2, respectively.
HEAD COACH MATCHUP
In 12 seasons of work, FGCU head coach Dave Tollett has compiled a 418-230-2 record as the only head coach in the program’s history. He will matchup with Smoke Laval who is in his fifteenth year as a head coach and second with North Florida. He boasts an overall record of 565-359-1 and a 114-91 record with the Ospreys.
LAST TIME OUT
Brady Anderson (Arcadia, Fla./DeSoto HS) made just his third start of the season in a 7-1 loss to No. 9 Florida on Tuesday night and had given up just two runs over 11.0 innings in the previous two while striking out 14. Anderson allowed the most hits he had in any outing this season with nine but managed the damage nicely with just two earned runs to his credit.
The FGCU offense found its stroke late in this one, picking up back-to-back doubles in the seventh to score its only run of the ball game. Michael Suchy (Bradenton, Fla./Southeast HS) picked up two hits, the only Eagle to do so, including the RBI double in the seventh. Nick Rivera (Cape Coral, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) doubled to increase his team lead in that category with 14 now for his only hit of the ball game and Alex Diaz (Miami, Fla./John A. Ferguson) singled to extend his team-leading hit streak to seven.
1 - Lipscomb (24-14, 12-3)
2 - FGCU (24-14, 9-3)
3 - Mercer (28-10, 11-4)
4 - ETSU (18-17, 7-5)
5 - North Florida (16-21, 6-9)
6 - Northern Kentucky^ (11-22, 5-7)
7 - Kennesaw State (19-20, 6-9)
8 - Jacksonville (12-24, 6-9)
9 - USC Upstate (14-25, 4-11)
10 - Stetson (14-24, 3-9)
A-SUN OPPONENTS RPI
30 - Mercer
114 - Lipscomb
133 - Kennesaw State
141 - FGCU
170 - Jacksonville
187 - North Florida
199 - ETSU
240 - Northern Kentucky
243 - Stetson
247 - USC Upstate
NON-CONFERENCE OPPONENTS RPI
1 - Florida
18 - Miami
96 - Illinois
113 - Michigan
163 - South Florida
173 - Florida Atlantic
239 - Bethune-Cookman
241 - Florida A&M
280 - Rhode Island
283 – Manhattan
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.
ATLANTIC SUN CHAMPIONSHIP
For the first time in program history, the FGCU baseball team will play host to the 2014 Atlantic Sun Baseball Championship set to take place May 21-25 at Swanson Stadium. The top eight teams in the standings at the end of the regular season will advance to the championship and compete in a double-elimination style tournament to determine the A-Sun’s automatic qualifier to the NCAA Tournament. The Eagles are three-time A-Sun Regular Season Champions and finished second in the league last season.
Single-game tickets for FGCU Baseball are available at a cost of $6 for adults and $3 for children. Season tickets and tickets to the 2014 Atlantic Sun Championship are also available. For more information and additional deals, visit FGCUathletics.com/tickets, or call the ticket office at 239-590-7145.