Murray and Noll Tabbed as Louisville Slugger All-Americans
Thursday, May 29, 2014 | by Matt Moretti III (@Moretts13)
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TUCSON, Ariz. — The Louisville Slugger NCAA Division I All-American baseball teams and National Player of The Year were announced Thursday morning by Collegiate Baseball newspaper and FGCU standouts Mike Murray and Jake Noll have been selected, joining Chris Sale as the only postseason All-American selections in Division-I program history.

“This is a huge accomplish for these two,” head coach Dave Tollett added. “These guys worked very hard, had incredible seasons, broke all kinds of records and they should be very proud of what they did and equally proud to be rewarded for it.”

Murray (West Palm Beach, Fla./Forrest Hill HS) had arguably the greatest season any FGCU pitcher has ever had with a program record 13 wins and an A-Sun best 1.85 ERA to go with 79 strikeouts which also led the league. Murray became the fourth A-Sun Pitcher of the Year that FGCU has had. He joined the group of Richard Bleier (2008), Chris Sale (2010) and Ricky Knapp (2012), all of which are now playing professional baseball. He was also tabbed to the A-Sun First Team. Murray was a Freshman All-American last season.

Murray is one of just nine pitchers in the A-Sun in the last 10 years to win double-digit games in a season. The sophomore is a semifinalist for the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award which names college baseball’s best player, has also been named to the 18-Man 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 put 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, which led the nation this season and was snapped at Stetson, Murray’s ERA dropped as low as 0.18 at one point.

“Mike had a record-setting year for us,” Tollett continued. “He is just the second player we’ve had along with Chris Sale to be named a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award which says a lot about the kind of season he had. It was truly a special year and a fun one to be a part of.”

Noll (Punta Gorda, Fla./Charlotte HS) was brilliant during his freshman campaign serving as the catalyst at the top of the FGCU lineup. The Punta Gorda native became the first FGCU player in program history to earn Freshman of the Year honors and his efforts also earned him spots on the All-Conference First Team and All-Freshman Team. He is also an NCBWA All-American Nominee and could be named a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American next week.

Noll collected a program record 101 hits this season which ranks second in the nation behind the A-Sun Player of the Year, Max Pentecost while also stealing an A-Sun best and FGCU single-season record 25 bases. Noll broke the single-season hits record in the first inning of the A-Sun semifinal game against Lipscomb with his first and only triple of the season.

Noll built a team-best .367 batting average to go with 56 runs, 18 doubles and 29 RBI all while being the only Eagle to appear in all 61 games this season, which is also a single-season program record. The freshman also put together a 19-game hit streak which was the longest of any FGCU player in a season and since Josh Chester put together a 24-game hit streak in 2009.

“To finish second in the nation in hits is an incredible feat for anyone,” Tollett said. “But to do it as a freshman and first-year starter is just unbelievable. Jake was our catalyst all season and having a guy like that at the top of the order is huge.”

Bolstered heavily by the efforts of these two players, the Eagles closed the 2014 season with a Division-I program record 39 wins and a fourth A-Sun Regular Season Championship.

First Team All-Americans

Pitchers
RHP Aaron Nola Louisiana St.
LHP Ben Wetzler Oregon St.
LHP Jace Fry Oregon St.
RHP Andrew Morales U.C. Irvine
LHP Nathan Kirby Virginia
LHP Chris Diaz Miami (Fla.)
Relief Michael Cederoth San Diego St.
Relief Nick Burdi Louisville

Position Players
C Max Pentecost Kennesaw St.
1B Casey Gillaspie Wichita St.
2B Jace Conrad Louisiana-Lafayette
3B Daniel Miles Tennessee Tech.
SS Trea Turner N.C. State
OF Michael Conforto Oregon St.
OF Brandon Thomasson Tennessee Tech.
OF Michael Katz William & Mary
*UT A.J. Reed Kentucky (National Player of the Year)

Second Team All-Americans

Pitchers
LHP Blake Fox Rice
RHP Josh Prevost Seton Hall
RHP Preston Morrison Texas Christian
RHP Daniel Gossett Clemson
RHP Mike Murray FGCU
RHP Sam Street Texas-Pan American
RHP Kyle Funkhouser Louisville
RHP Tyler Davis Washington
LHP Matt Imhof Cal. Poly
RHP Casey Bloomquist Cal. Poly
RHP Erick Fedde UNLV
RHP Josh Frye Long Beach St.
RHP Chase Mallard Alabama-Birmingham
RHP Matt Warren Creighton
Relief Sam Moore U.C. Irvine
Relief Brendan McCurry Oklahoma St.

Position Players
C Kyle Schwarber Indiana
C Taylor Gushue Florida
1B Sam Travis Indiana
1B Nic Wilson Georgia St.
1B Matt Tellor S.E. Missouri
2B Ryan Seiz Liberty
3B Connor Panas Canisius
SS Dylan Bosheers Tennessee Tech.
OF Jeff Gardner Louisville
OF D.J. Stewart Florida St.
OF Casey Jones Elon
UT Aaron Brown Pepperdine

Third Team All-Americans

Pitchers
LHP Kyle Freeland Evansville
RHP Luke Weaver Florida St.
LHP Joey DeNato Indiana
RHP Carson Baranik Louisiana-Lafayette
RHP Logan Shore Florida
LHP Brandon Finnegan Texas Christian
LHP Carlos Rodon N.C. State
LHP Seth Varner Miami (Ohio)
RHP Chance Sinclair Nebraska
Relief Ryan Thompson Campbell
Relief Nick Howard Virginia
Relief Ryan Williams East Carolina

Position Players
C Kevin Krause Stony Brook
C Aramis Garcia Florida International
1B Connor Joe San Diego
1B Rhys Hoskins Sacramento St.
1B Reagan Fowler Creighton
1B Trent Miller Middle Tennessee
2B Bradley Strong Western Carolina
2B Mark Mathias Cal. Poly
2B Andrew Daniel San Diego
2B Dansby Swanson Vanderbilt
2B Hutton Moyer Pepperdine
2B Jake Noll FGCU
3B Dustin DeMuth Indiana
3B Matt Chapman Cal. St. Fullerton
3B Shane Hoelscher Rice
3B Austin Anderson Mississippi
SS Michael Russell North Carolina
SS Sam Bumpers Lamar
OF Zach Fish Oklahoma St.
OF Jordan Luplow Fresno St.
OF Chase Raffield Georgia St.
OF Sean Godfrey Ball St.
UT Louie Lechich San Diego