(17-9, 4-0 ASUN)
(9-17, 1-3 ASUN)
3/29/2014 | DeLand, Fla. | Attendance: 500
|Loss: Adam Schaly
BOX SCORE (PDF)
WP | Mike Murray (6-0): 9.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO
LP | Adam Schaly (0-1): 5.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO
DeLAND, Fla.- The FGCU baseball team (17-9, 4-0 Atlantic Sun) had to wait a full day to get its series with Stetson (9-17, 1-3 A-Sun) underway but the delay proved to have little effect as the Eagles, behind a complete game from Mike Murray and a pair of home runs, defeated the Hatters 8-2 on Saturday night to stay unbeaten in A-Sun play.
The Eagles are 4-0 in A-Sun play for the first time since the 2010 season and are chasing the program-best 6-0 mark set during the 2009 season. They can tie that start tomorrow should the Green and Blue sweep the doubleheader scheduled to begin at Melching Field at Noon.
“It has been a nice start to league play for us,” head coach Dave Tollett added. “Murray continued to roll tonight and the offense supported him. The top half of our order stepped up big and after a frustrating wait to get this series started were happy with the result.”
Murray (West Palm Beach, Fla./Forrest Hill HS) took the ball on Saturday despite having his start pushed back a day and tossed the first complete game of his career and the first for any FGCU starter this season. He would give up seven hits, walk one, strikeout four and allow two runs, both earned. Those two earned runs in the sixth inning snapped a streak of 43.1 innings during which Murray did not allow an earned run and saw his ERA drop as low as 0.18. After today’s complete game Murray now boasts a stellar 0.50 ERA with 53 strikeouts against just six walks.
The Eagle offense gave Murray plenty of support on Saturday night, rebounding for eight runs after being shutout at Miami on Wednesday night. The top three batters in the order combined to go 7-14, scored five runs and drove in all eight. Colton Bottomley (Davie, Fla./Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS) led the way with four RBI out of the No. 2 spot in the order and smacked his second home run of the season. Jake Noll (Punta Gorda, Fla./Charlotte HS) and Michael Suchy (Bradenton, Fla./Southeast HS) each collected two hits and drove in two runs. In all only five FGCU batters would account for the 11 Eagle hits.
The scoring started in the fourth with two out when Suchy drove his second home run of the season over the left field wall and in the top half of the sixth it was Bottomley adding two more runs by way of the long ball, driving in Noll who had reached after being hit by a pitch with one out.
With a 3-0 lead entering the bottom of the sixth, Murray began to struggle just a bit after picking up a strikeout to start the frame. A double, single and another double would bring home two runs quickly but with runners on first and second with one out, Murray induced two fly-outs to end the threat.
FGCU shut the door in the seventh beginning with a leadoff single from Zack Tillery (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier HS). He would be one of the five Eagles to pick up multiple hits, going 2-4 and scoring once. A hit batsman and a strikeout put runners on first and second with one out for Gage Morey (West Palm Beach, Fla./PB Central HS) who singled to shallow left, loading the bases. A pop-out would bring Noll to the plate with two down and the bases still loaded. Noll delivered a single, driving in two and moved up to second on the throw to the plate. With runners on second and third with two out, Bottomley doubled down the left field line driving in two more. Suchy followed with a triple, his third of the season and first since the opening weekend against Rhode Island, to drive in Bottomley and complete the scoring for FGCU on Saturday evening.
With an 8-2 lead and less than 100 pitches to his credit at that point, Murray took the mound in the ninth looking for the first complete game of his young career. The sophomore and three-time A-Sun Pitcher of the Week quickly picked up a strikeout and a fly out and capped off another great outing with a strikeout to secure the victory, his sixth-straight.
The Eagles will return to the field tomorrow at Noon to complete their series with Stetson in a doubleheader. The start of the series was delayed twice due to inclement weather. Nick Deckert (Tallahassee, Fla./Tallahassee CC) is set to take the ball in game one looking to improve on his 4-2 record while Jack English (Delray Beach, Fla./Cardinal Newman HS) is projected to start game two.
Following the conclusion of their series at Stetson, the Green and Blue will travel to Tallahassee for a date with the No. 1 team in the nation in Florida State. FGCU is 0-3 all-time against teams ranked No. 1.
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.