Power and Precision Tell the Story as #FGCU Splits Doubleheader with UNF
Friday, April 18, 2014 | by Matt Moretti III (@Moretts13)
Photo Courtesy: Linwood Ferguson
Photo Courtesy: Linwood Ferguson
North Florida (16-22, 6-10 A-Sun)
FGCU (25-14, 10-3 A-Sun)
4/18/2014 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 178
North Florida0010100013120
Win: MURRAY (9-0) 8.0102213
Loss: MILLER (0-1) 4.183332
WEEKS (UNF) 503100
NOLL (FGCU) 503100
SUCHY (FGCU) 423111


Game 1 – 11:00 a.m.

WP | Mike Murray (9-0): 8.0 IP, 10 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO
LP | Nick Miller (0-1): 4.1 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 SO

Game 2 – 2:30 p.m.
WP | David Trexler (4-2): 9.0 IP, 9 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 10 SO
LP | Nick Deckert (5-3): 5.2 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU baseball team (25-15, 10-4 Atlantic Sun) used power to get the job done in game one while North Florida (17-22, 7-10 A-Sun) used precision from starter David Trexler in game two to shut down the Eagle bats and come away with a split in Friday’s doubleheader. The rubber match and final game of the series will take place tomorrow at Noon.

Mike Murray (West Palm Beach, Fla./Forrest Hill HS) took the mound in game one, an 11 a.m. start at Swanson Stadium and took a come-backer off his face in the second inning but would stay in the game. The sophomore righty went on to pitch 8.0 innings of 10-hit ball, holding UNF to just two runs and striking out three to earn his league-leading ninth win, which is just two shy now of the FGCU single-season record of 11 set by Chris Sale in 2010. Murray entered the game with the nation’s second-best ERA and raised it only slightly to a still minuscule 0.82.

While Murray’s toughness was on display on the mound, power was the attraction at the dish as the FGCU bats combined to hit four homeruns in the game. Only two homeruns had been hit by Eagles at Swanson Stadium so far this season before Friday’s game and both came against Florida A&M on March 14, also with Murray on the mound. Michael Suchy (Bradenton, Fla./Southeast HS) lifted his third long ball of the season in the fifth to tie the game at three and Cody Hoffner (Sebring, Fla./Broward College) made it back-to-back jacks with his first of two homeruns in game to give FGCU the lead. Nick Rivera (Cape Coral, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) homered for the second time this season in the seventh to complete the display. Swanson stadium had only yielded a total of three homeruns in 19 games there this season before Friday.

In game two, Nick Deckert (Tallahassee, Fla./Tallahassee CC) took the ball and surrendered five runs over 5.2 innings and struck out three. David Trexler tossed a complete game, threw a staggering 132 pitches and held the Eagles to just one run to pick up the victory.

Three Eagles would pick up multiple hits in the second game, including Colton Bottomley (Parkland, Fla./Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS) who went 4-8 combined over the two games and raised his team-leading batting average to .418. Jake Noll (Punta Gorda, Fla./Charlotte HS) would steal two bases on Friday afternoon, giving him 19 for the season and inching him ever-closer to the single-season record of 20.

“Murray showed us all why we believe he’s one of the best pitchers in the country today with a gutty performance like that,” head coach Dave Tollett added. “Our bats came alive and gave him all the support he needed to get the job done. We didn’t come out ready in game two and it showed. Credit to Trexler he pitched a heck of a ball game but are going to need a different approach tomorrow if we’re going to win this series.”

The Eagles came out hot in the first game on Friday morning, putting one run on the board in the bottom of the first when the a passed ball with the bases loaded allowed Bottomley to score from third. That would be all the Green and Blue would get in that frame however as the bases would be left loaded.

Leading off the top of the second, Corbin Olmstead ripped Murray’s offering back at him and the sophomore only had time to put his glove up. The ball grazed Murray’s glove and struck his cheek bringing Tollet and the training staff out of the dugout. Murray would stay in the game and work out of the inning without any harm.

UNF tied the score at one in the top of the third and took the lead, 2-1, in the top of the fifth but in the bottom half, the back-to-back long balls from Suchy and Hoffner gave FGCU the lead back and two more runs came across when the Ospreys went to the bullpen that inning, giving FGCU a 5-2 advantage through five.

In the bottom of the sixth, Rivera led off with a walk and Suchy followed with a single. Hoffner then came to the plate and launched a three-run moon-shoot to deep left to break this one wide open. With two outs in the seventh, Rivera’s homerun would complete the FGCU scoring in game one.

The bullpen took over for Murray in the ninth and gave up just one run to secure the 9-3 victory, giving FCCU its 10th win in A-Sun play and at the time pushing the Eagles into first place in the league.

The pitchers in game two dueled until the top of the fourth when Deckert blinked first. Drew Weeks, the nation’s hit leader, who registered seven hits during the doubleheader, doubled to lead off the frame. A single up the middle allowed Weeks to score for the first run of the ball game. The Ospreys would add two more runs in the fourth to jump ahead to a 3-0 lead.

FGCU remained scoreless until the eighth inning but UNF had built a 5-0 lead. Zack Tillery (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier HS) singled to lead off the frame and Rivera doubled for a team-leading fifteenth time this season to drive in Tillery and cut into the deficit, 5-1. UNF added an insurance run in the ninth and Trexler continued to deal despite the Eagles loading the bases in the ninth. Rivera flew out to end the game and give UNF a 6-1 victory.

The Eagles return to the field to conclude their series with North Florida tomorrow at Noon, which is a change from the originally scheduled game time of 2 p.m. Jack English (Delray Beach, Fla./Cardinal Newman) is schedule to start on the mound for FGCU tomorrow and will be in search of his third victory. English currently carries a 2.49 ERA which ranks third in the A-Sun.

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.