A-Sun Play Continues for @FGCU_Baseball at Northern Kentucky
Thursday, May 01, 2014 | by Matt Moretti III (@Moretts13)
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Photo Courtesy: Linwood Ferguson
Photo Courtesy: Linwood Ferguson
FGCU (30-17, 13-6 A-Sun)
at
Northern Kentucky (13-29, 6-13 A-Sun)
5/2/2014 | Highland Heights, KY | Attendance: 81
123456789RHE
FGCU0030031018111
Northern Kentucky100211000590
PitchingIPHRERBBSO
Win: MURRAY (11-0) 6.095426
Loss: COLLETTA (0-4) 5.065512
BattingABRHRBIBBHR
NOLL (FGCU) 523000
SUCHY (FGCU) 423111
BAUML (NKU) 313221

May 2-4, 2014 | 3 PM, 1 PM, NOON | Bill Aker Baseball Complex

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HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. --
The FGCU baseball team (29-17, 12-6 Atlantic Sun) makes the trip north this weekend to face Northern Kentucky (13-28, 6-12 Atlantic Sun) in a three-game set and will be looking the remain perfect against the Norse as the 2014 regular season nears its end.

The first game of the series is set for Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. and continues on Saturday at 1 p.m before concluding on Sunday with a Noon start at the Bill Aker Baseball Complex.

SCOUTING NKU
The Norse come into their matchup with the Green and Blue losing three of their last four games. Logan Spurlin, Zac Asman, and Caleb Kellogg are the only three players hitting .300 or above for NKU as they are hitting .352, .314, and .300, respectfully. Northern Kentucky has struggled on the mound and comes into the matchup with a 7.32 team ERA.

SERIES HISTORY
The Eagles swept NKU last year during their first ever meeting at Swanson Stadium and therefore own a 3-0 series lead. In the three games series last season FGCU outscored the Norse 21-5.

HEAD COACHING MATCHUP
In 12 seasons of work, FGCU head coach Dave Tollett has compiled a 423-233-2 record as the only head coach in the program’s history. He will match up with Todd Asalon who is in his 14th season at NKU and has compiled a 455-347-1 in that time.

#MURRAYMAGIC
Mike Murray (West Palm Beach, Fla./Forrest Hill HS), a three-time A-Sun Pitcher of the Week, leads the A-Sun with a 1.18 ERA in 83.2 innings on the hill and has compiled a 10-0 record, making him just the second Eagle in program history to accomplish such a feat along with MLB All-Star and former National Player of the Year, Chris Sale, who holds the single-season FGCU wins record with 11. Murray will take the mound on Friday night looking to match Sale’s mark.

The sophomore has been named to the 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. The West Palm Beach native was named to the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award 50-man midseason watch list. The award recognizes the top amateur baseball player in the country.

LAST TIME OUT
Nick Deckert (Tallahassee, Fla./Tallahassee CC) worked through 3.0 innings and struck out three allowing just one run and three hits at FAU on Tuesday night. Deckert would pick up his sixth win in the process as the Eagles would go on to claim a 3-2 victory. Garrett Anderson (Arcadia, Fla./DeSoto HS) came on in relief and tossed 2.0 innings of scoreless relief, retiring six in-a-row after walking the first batter he faced. Mario Leon (Naples, Fla./Gulf Coast HS) took over for Anderson in the sixth and struck out two in two scoreless innings before turning the ball over to Brad Labozzetta (Lakeland, Fla./Lakeland HS). Labozzetta got the first two outs of the eighth before Sterling Koerner (Fort Pierce, Fla./John Carrol HS) came in to close this one out for his second save of the season.

Nick Rivera (Cape Coral, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) went 3-4 at the plate with a pair of singles and his A-Sun leading 17th double to go with a pair of runs scored for FGCU. Cody Hoffner (Sebring, Fla./Broward College) drove in two of the three runs for the Eagles on Tuesday night with a single in the second and fly in the fourth and scored a run.

On Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s this season FGCU now holds 4-6 record against the likes of USF, Michigan, Miami (Fla.) (2x), No. 1 Florida State, Florida A&M, FAU and No. 9 Florida. FGCU is 3-2 on the road in mid-week action.

A-SUN RANKINGS
FGCU ranks fourth in the A-Sun in batting (.288) and first in pitching with a 2.91 team ERA. The single-season ERA record in the A-Sun is 2.40. Colton Bottomley (Parkland, Fla./Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS) has exploded into the fourth spot in the A-Sun with a .373 batting average while Jake Noll (Punta Gorda, Fla./Charlotte HS) sits in ninth with a .356 mark and third in hits with 73. While Murray collects all the recognition on the mound, Jack English (Delray Beach, Fla./Cardinal Newman HS) and Deckert are quietly putting together dominant seasons of their own, posting 2.26 and 3.19 ERA’s which rank second and fifth in the A-Sun, respectively. Noll and Gage Morey (West Palm Beach, Fla./PB Central) have set the league standard in the stolen base department with 21 and 13 which rank No. 1 and No. 2, respectively. With 21 stolen bases, Noll is now the FGCU single-season record holder in that category.

PRO FACTORY
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.

A-SUN STANDINGS
1 - Mercer (16-5, 34-11)
2 - FGCU (12-6, 29-17)
3 - Lipscomb (14-7, 26-19)
4 – Kennesaw State (11-9, 26-20)
5 – ETSU (8-9, 21-22)
6 – North Florida (9-12, 20-24)
7 – Jacksonville (7-10, 14-25)
8 - Stetson (7-11, 18-28)
9 - NKU (6-12, 13-28)
10 - USC Upstate (4-13, 14-30)

A-SUN OPPONENTS RPI
21 - Mercer
82 - Kennesaw State
91 – FGCU
145 - Jacksonville
159 - Lipscomb
166 - North Florida
191 - ETSU
202 - Stetson
239 - Northern Kentucky
255 - USC Upstate

NON-CONFERENCE OPPONENTS RPI
3 – Florida
4 – Florida State
19 - Miami
79 – Illinois
126 - Michigan
128 - Florida Atlantic
150 - South Florida
210 - Florida A&M
236 - Bethune-Cookman
263 - Rhode Island
280 – Manhattan

NEXT UP
Following the weekend series the Green and Blue will head down to Coral Gables to face off against No. 4 Miami (32-13, 19-5 ACC) in a midweek matchup, Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m.

COVERAGE
Full coverage of each game including live stats 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
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 $45. 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.