(23-12, 8-2 A-Sun)
(11-22, 5-8 A-Sun)
4/11/2014 | Jacksonville, Fla. | Attendance: 177
BOX SCORE (PDF)
WP | Mike Murray (8-0): 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO
LP | Alex McRae (2-6): 4.1 IP, 13 H, 13 R, 13 ER, 4 BB, 2 SO
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU baseball team (23-12, 8-2 Atlantic Sun) opened its weekend series at Jacksonville (11-22, 5-8 A-Sun) with a bang on Friday night, spraying 17 hits and putting 13 runs on the board over the first five innings to give ace Mike Murray all the support he would need to cruise to his eighth-straight victory, 13-3.
Murray (West Palm Beach, Fla./Forrest Hill HS) settled in after giving up two runs on three hits in the first and tossed 6.0 innings for four-hit ball and struck out two en route to improving his league best record to 8-0. Despite his ERA rising to 0.66, the Eagle ace still leads the A-Sun in that category.
Eight different players would register a hit in this one for FGCU. Nick Rivera (Cape Coral, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) set the standard for the evening with a 4-5 effort to go with three RBI and a pair of runs scored. Colton Bottomley (Davie, Fla./Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS) and Michael Suchy (Bradenton, Fla./Southeast HS) each added three hits and combined for three RBI while Jake Noll (Punta Gorda, Fla./Charlotte HS) and Andrew Valencia (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep) each registered two hits and drove in a run.
“It all came together tonight for us,” head coach Dave Tollett surmised. “Murray settled into another quality start and the offense gave him all the support he would ever need. It’s a great start to the weekend but there is more work to do.”
The Eagles came out swinging on Friday night and jumped on the board right away with three runs in the first inning. Noll led off with a single and Bottomley walked to give Suchy an RBI opportunity before an out was recorded in the game. He would single to drive in a run and a sacrifice bunt put runners on second and third with one down for Rivera who singled to drive in both of those runners.
Jacksonville jumped on Murray in the first trying to equalize this one early. Murray hit the first batter he faced before giving up a bunt single that advanced the leadoff man all the way to third, putting runners on the corners with no one out. With one down following a foul out Connor Marabell singled, driving in the first run. Scott Schaub followed with a single of his own to quickly cut the FGCU lead to 3-2, but that was all the Dolphins would get in the first and Murray would settle in from there.
FGCU added one more run in both the second and third innings before blowing the game wide open in the fifth. Zack Tillery (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier HS) led off the frame with a single to become the first of four consecutive batters to reach base before an out was recorded. With the bases loaded, one out and one run already across, Alex Diaz (Miami, Fla./John A. Ferguson) walked to drive in the second run of the inning. Noll then singled to drive in another, pushing the FGCU lead to 8-2. The bases were still full when Bottomley ripped yet another single to left, driving in the fourth run of the inning and it was a Suchy RBI single that finally pushed JU starter Alex McRae out of the game. In all the Eagles would post eight runs in the top of the fifth on seven hits to take a commanding 13-2 lead.
Murray would leave the game after six innings of work, giving way to Brad Labozzetta (Lakeland, Fla./Lakeland HS) who worked a clean seventh and turned the ball over to Adam Eggnatz (Tampa, Fla./Brooks DeBartolo Collegiate HS) in the eighth to make his first appearance on the mound this season. Eggnatz would hit a batter but that’s the only runner the Dolphins would manage in the frame. Jacksonville would push a run across in the bottom of the ninth but the deficit proved too great as the Eagles were able to close out the 13-3, series-opening victory.
The trip to JU rolls on tomorrow when the Green and Blue return for a 2 p.m. date with the Dolphins before concluding the series on Sunday at 1 p.m. Nick Deckert (Tallahassee, Fla./Tallahassee CC) is set to take the mound tomorrow looking to improve upon his 4-2 record.
Following the series with Jacksonville, the Green and Blue will return to Hammond Stadium on Tuesday (Apr. 15) for a 6:30 p.m. date with No. 13 Florida. The Eagles split their early season two-game set with the Gators, the victory serving as head coach Dave Tollet’s 400th victory at FGCU. Tickets for the game at Hammond Stadium are on sale now through the FGCU Ticket Office.
All media and photographer credential requests for the game at Hammond Stadium should be directed to Matt Moretti III (email@example.com). Credentials will be available for pick up at the FGCU ticket tables at Hammond Stadium on the day of the 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.
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.