(35-19, 18-7 A-Sun)
(29-25, 16-9 A-Sun)
5/15/2014 | Nashville, Tenn. | Attendance: 231
(36-19, 19-7 A-Sun)
(29-26, 16-10 A-Sun)
5/16/2014 | Nashville, Tenn. | Attendance: 0
(36-20, 19-8 A-Sun)
(30-26, 17-10 A-Sun)
5/16/2014 | Nashville, Tenn. | Attendance: 0
GAME 1 – Thursday May 15, 2014 – 7 p.m. EST
FGCU | Mike Murray (12-0): 1.14 ERA, 95.2 IP, 76 H, 23 R, 15 ER, 12 BB, 73 SO
LIP | Ian Martinez-McGraw (7-3): 4.15 ERA, 89.0 IP, 104 H, 51 R, 41 ER, 34 BB, 51 SO
GAME 2 – Friday May 16, 2014 – 6 p.m. EST
FGCU | Brady Anderson (4-2): 2.47 ERA, 54.2 IP, 58 H, 22 R, 15 ER, 9 BB, 41 SO
LIP | Hunter Brothers (3-2): 4.72 ERA, 55.1 IP, 42 H, 32 R, 29 ER, 44 BB, 46 SO
GAME 3 – Saturday May 17, 2014 – 11 a.m. EST
FGCU | TBA
LIP | Denton Norman (6-5): 3.32 ERA, 78.2 IP, 67 H, 38 R, 29 ER, 28 BB, 46 SO
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The FGCU baseball team (35-18, 18-6 Atlantic Sun) makes one last road trip to conclude the 2014 regular season at Lipscomb (28-25, 15-9 A-Sun) and will be in search of a fourth A-Sun Regular Season Championship when it begins the series on Thursday evening.
With a win and a Mercer (37-13, 17-7 A-Sun) loss on Thursday, the Eagles will earn at least a share of the regular season title. Mercer will be at ETSU (24-27, 11-12 A-Sun) for a three-game set this weekend.
Mike Murray (West Palm Beach, Fla./Forrest Hill HS) will be in search of his 13th victory of the season when he takes the mound on Thursday night. Murray surpassed the FGCU single-season wins record, previously held by 2010 National Player of the Year and MLB All-Star Chris Sale, with his 12th opposite ETSU last Friday night. Murray will square off with Ian Martinez-McGraw who is 7-3 with a 4.15 ERA this season.
Murray, a four-time A-Sun Pitcher of the Week, worked through 6.0 shutout innings in his last start at home against ETSU and gave up just three hits to go with two strikeouts in a 14-0 victory, extending his league-lead in punch outs to 73 and bringing his A-Sun leading ERA to 1.41. He is one of just nine pitchers in the A-Sun in the last 10 years to win double-digit games in a season.
The sophomore has been named to the 30-Man USA Baseball Golden Spikes Player of the Year watch list and the College Baseball Hall of Fame Pitcher of the Year watch list in recognition of the stellar season he is putting together. His name is mentioned alongside players from all of the power conferences including in-state rivals and perennial college baseball powers, Florida State, Miami and Florida. He is the only player on the College Baseball Hall of Fame watch list that comes from the A-Sun.
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.
Lipscomb is paced at the plate by Grant Massey who currently holds a .309 batting average in 53 games this season. He is the only Lipscomb player with an average above .300. Drew Adams leads the team with 45 RBI and is one of three players with four homeruns. Nine different pitchers have made a start for the Bisons and its Martinez-McGraw that leads the team with seven wins.
The Eagles lead the all-time series against the Bisons 12-7. The Green and Blue took two of three from Lipscomb at Swanson Stadium last season and outscored the Bisons 14-8. It was Lipscomb however that ended FGCU’s season last year with a 3-2 victory in the A-Sun Tournament.
HEAD COACHING MATCHUP
In 12 seasons of work, FGCU head coach Dave Tollett has compiled a 430-234-2 record as the only head coach in the program’s history. He will match up with Jeff Forehand who is 208-252 in seven season at Lipscomb and is 420-395-1 in 13 seasons as a head coach.
Michael Suchy (Bradenton, Fla./Southeast HS) put together an enormous weekend at NKU, going 8-12 at the plate with three homeruns, eight RBI, nine runs scored and five walks. For his efforts he was named the Atlantic Sun Player of the Week by the conference office. In the first game of the series, Suchy went 3-4 at the plate with a homerun and a pair of runs scored. The junior stayed hot in game two, launching a pair of long balls, one of which was a grand slam to account for his five RBI that afternoon. Suchy completed his dominant weekend with a pair of doubles on Sunday and two more RBI. By the end of the series the Bradenton, Fla. native had compiled a 1.667 slugging percentage and a .778 on base percentage.
In 36 fewer at bats, Suchy is either quickly approaching or has already surpassed some of his 2013 statistical totals. He is hitting .322 as opposed to .314 last season. He has already scored 12 more runs, giving him 49 for the season which rank second in the A-Sun, doubled four more times, tripled his triples total and is just one homerun shy of his 2013 total. His 47 RBI currently rank fourth in the A-Sun and have also already surpassed his 2013 total.
FGCU ranks second in the A-Sun in batting (.300) and second in pitching with a 3.18 team ERA. The single-season ERA record in the A-Sun is 2.40. Jake Noll (Punta Gorda, Fla./Charlotte HS) sits in fourth in the A-Sun with a .370 batting average and third in hits and third in the nation with 90. Noll is also second in the league with 50 runs scored. While Murray collects all the recognition on the mound, Brady Anderson (Arcadia, Fla./DeSoto HS) is quietly putting together a dominant season of his own, posting 2.47 ERA which ranks second in the A-Sun. Noll and Gage Morey (West Palm Beach, Fla./PB Central) have set the league standard in the stolen base department with 24 and 13 which rank No. 1 and No. 4, respectively. With 24 stolen bases, Noll is the FGCU single-season record holder in that category. Nick Rivera (Cape Coral, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) sits atop the A-Sun with 20 doubles and ranks in a tie for 10th in the nation in that category.
LAST TIME OUT
Jack English (Delray Beach, Fla./Cardinal Newman HS) made his eleventh start of the year for the Green and Blue and tossed 4.1 innings opposite ETSU while allowing five runs and striking out two. He would not factor in the decision. Freshman Garrett Anderson (Arcadia, Fla./DeSoto HS) came on in relief of English and worked through 3.0 innings, allowed two runs and struck out two to earn his third win of the season out of the pen. Zack Tillery (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier HS) pitched a perfect ninth to secure his third save of the year.
At the plate, five different Eagles would register multiple hits and six would pick up at least one RBI. Noll went 3-5 at the plate to extend his hitting streak to 15 games, scored twice, drove in a run and stole a base extending his FGCU single-season record total to 24. Noll is now in hot pursuit of the single-season hits crown. The record currently stands at 99 hits set back in 2010 by Mikel Alvarez.
Suchy collected three hits of his own, including his eighth homerun of the year, scored twice and drove in three. Tillery, Colton Bottomley (Parkland, Fla./Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS) and Cody Hoffner (Sebring, Fla./Broward College) each added two hits and drove in a run. Hoffner’s RBI came in the form of a solo homerun, his fifth of the year.
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.
1 – FGCU (18-6, 35-18)
2 - Mercer (17-7, 37-13)
3 - Lipscomb (15-9, 28-25)
4 – Kennesaw State (14-9, 30-21)
5 – ETSU (11-12, 24-27)
6 – North Florida (11-13, 22-26)
7 – Stetson (11-13, 22-31)
8 - Jacksonville (10-13, 17-31)
9 - NKU (6-18, 14-34)
10 - USC Upstate (5-18, 16-36)
A-SUN OPPONENTS RPI
28 - Mercer
72 - FGCU
73 – Kennesaw State
163 - North Florida
164 – Jacksonville
180 - Stetson
184 - Lipscomb
208 - ETSU
256 - Northern Kentucky
263 - USC Upstate
NON-CONFERENCE OPPONENTS RPI
2 – Florida
4 – Florida State
10 - Miami
52 – Illinois
91 - Florida Atlantic
104 - Michigan
143 - South Florida
212 - Florida A&M
215 - Bethune-Cookman
266 - Rhode Island
273 – Manhattan
Full coverage of each game including live stats and video can be found at FGCUAthletics.com. If you can’t reach a computer, follow @FGCU_Baseball on Twitter or “like” FGCU Baseball on Facebook for daily news, photos and a constant stream of live updates during each game.
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.
Tickets to the 2014 Atlantic Sun Championship are now available. General admission day passes are available for $10 and tournament passes can be purchased for $35. Reserved seating day passes are available for $15 and tournament reserved seating passes are available for $55. For more information and additional deals, visit FGCUathletics.com/tickets, or call the ticket office at 239-590-7145.