2/27/2014 | Gainesville, FL | Attendance: 2888
|Loss: Logan Shore
2/28/2014 | Gainesville, FL | Attendance: 0
3/1/2014 | Gainesville, FL | Attendance: 0
3/1/2014 | Gainesville, FL | Attendance: 4157
|Win: Karsten Whitson
Stats | FGCU | Florida | Illinois
TV | Sun Sports/FSN Florida
FGCU—Mike Murray | 1-0, 0.63 ERA, 14.1 IP, 13 H, 6 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 13 SO
UF - Logan Shore | 0-0, 1.29 ERA, 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO
FGCU - Zack Tillery | Has not pitched this season
Illinois - Ryan Castellanos | Has not pitched this season
FGCU - Brad Labozzetta | 0-0, 9.00 ERA, 6.0 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 5 BB, 9 SO
Illinois - John Kravetz | 0-1, 9.64 ERA, 4.2 IP, 10 H, 8 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 2 SO
FGCU - Nick Deckert | 1-1, 0.71 ERA, 12.2 IP, 16 H, 4 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 SO
UF - A.J. Puk | 1-0, 4.15 ERA, 4.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The FGCU baseball team (5-3) is set to play a split two-game series against cross-state rival, No. 23 Florida (5-3) and Big Ten foe Illinois (2-4) this weekend (Feb. 27-Mar. 1). The Eagles will play single games with Florida and Illinois on Thursday and Friday, respectively, and will finish with a split doubleheader on Saturday beginning with Illinois at 1 p.m. and finishing with the Gators at 7 p.m.
Mike Murray (West Palm Beach, Fla./Forest Hill HS) will take the mound , Thursday night against the Gators, making this his third start of the year. Murray squared off with Florida last season which was ranked No. 13 in the nation at the time. He went 5.1 innings, allowing four runs, three earned, striking out one and would not factor in the decision as the Eagles picked up the 7-4 victory in 11 innings. Last Friday opposite Bethune-Cookman, Murray went 7.2 innings, striking out nine and getting the win for the Eagles.
FGCU trails in the all-time series 4-6 against UF, but went 3-1 against them last season. The three wins against the Gators last year came as a sweep in Gainesville by a combined score of 23-9.
The Eagles have played one series previously with the Fighting Illini where they went 1-2 and have a 5-4 record overall against teams from the Big Ten Conference.
The Green and Blue are 10-24 all-time against nationally ranked opponents as they head into this weekend’s match up against No. 23 Florida (NCBWA). Last year the Eagles went 3-2 against ranked opponents. Besides their games with the Gators, FGCU lost their lone contest against No. 5 Florida State.
LAST TIME OUT
The Eagles were able to get out to an early 7-1 lead scoring four in the 2nd and three in the 4th. The wheels would come off of the FGCU pitching staff in the fourth. Sterling Koerner (Fort Pierce, Fla./John Carrol HS) came in to attempt to limit the damage but after recording two quick outs, gave up a single and an inside-the-park home run that drove in three more B-CU runs, erasing the 7-1 FGCU advantage and giving the Wildcats a 9-7 lead through four.
The FGCU bats remained quiet until the seventh by which point the Wildcats had tacked on some insurance to make it 10-7. The Eagles then went on to put six runs on the board over the next three innings eventually giving the Green and Blue a 13-10 victory. Brady Anderson (Arcadia, Fla./DeSoto HS) came on in the ninth to lock down his third save of the season.
PRESEASON A-SUN AWARDS
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 2014 FGCU baseball schedule features six teams that participated in the 2013 NCAA Baseball Tournament, two of which come from the Atlantic Sun. The schedule also includes three teams ranked inside the top 25 nationally in Florida, Florida State and Miami as well as seven teams that received votes, three of which come from the A-Sun. Eight programs ranked or receiving votes hail from the state of Florida.
Rhode Island is one the programs, along with FGCU receiving votes in the Collegiate Baseball Fabulous 40 NCAA Division I preseason poll. Nine of FGCU’s first 13 games are against teams that are either ranked or receiving votes in the preseason Top 40 and will play 26 games against teams currently ranked or receiving votes. The Eagles went 9-10 against those teams last year.
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.