MACON, Ga. – Mike Murray, for the fourth time this season has been named the Atlantic Sun Pitcher of the Week by the conference office on Monday morning. Murray cruised through six shutout innings on Friday night, throwing just 67 pitches to guide the FGCU baseball team (35-18, 18-6 Atlantic Sun) to a 14-0 defeat of defending A-Sun Champion ETSU (24-26, 11-12 A-Sun) and earned his FGCU single-season record setting 12th win, surpassing 2010 National Player of the Year Chris Sale.
Murray (West Palm Beach, Fla./Forrest Hill HS) now has twice as many A-Sun Pitcher of the Week awards as any other pitcher in the league this season. Chris Sale holds the A-Sun record for the most Pitcher of the Week awards in a career with six.
The West Palm Beach native became the first pitcher in the nation this season to reach the 12-win plateau and the fifth A-Sun pitcher to reach that number since 2005 all while lowering his A-Sun best ERA to 1.41 and picking up two strikeouts to extend his league-leading total to 73. Murray is now back on pace to best the FGCU single-season ERA record of 1.50 set by J.J. Crumbley in 2008.
“Mike continues to pick up these kinds of awards and deserves everything he gets,” head coach Dave Tollett said of his ace. “He has put together a truly special season for us and he is never going to be satisfied. He is going to be right there when the national awards start coming out.”
Friday’s effort marks the seventh start of 13 this season in which Murray did not allow an earned run to cross the plate and it’s the fourth time that the sophomore did not allow a run of any kind before exiting the game. Murray is one of just nine pitchers in the A-Sun in the last 10 years to win double-digit games in a season and is on pace for at least one more start before the conclusion of the regular season.
The sophomore has been named to the USA Baseball 30-Man Golden Spikes Award watch list, the College Baseball Hall of Fame Pitcher of the Year watch list and is an NCBWA All-American nominee 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 Eagles travel to Lipscomb (28-24, 15-9 A-Sun) this weekend to conclude the regular season and will control their own destiny in pursuit of a fourth A-Sun Regular Season Championship. The series gets rolling on Thursday at 6 p.m.
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.