#FGCU Offense Lifts Murray to Record-Tying 11th Win
WP | Mike Murray (11-0): 6.0 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO
LP | Kyle Colletta (0-4): 5.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO
SV | Garrett Anderson (1): 2.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – The FGCU baseball team (30-17, 13-6 Atlantic Sun) hit three homeruns on Friday afternoon en route to an 8-5 defeat of Northern Kentucky (13-29, 6-13 A-Sun), earning starter Michael Murray his program record-tying 11th victory of the season. The Eagles are now 12-0 this season when Murray starts on the mound and have won 30 games for the 10th time in the program’s 12-year history.
Murray (West Palm Beach, Fla./Forrest Hill HS), worked through 6.0 innings and gave up nine hits to go with four earned runs while walking two and striking out six, extending his league-lead in punch outs to 71 and bringing his A-Sun leading ERA to 1.51. Murray is one of just two pitchers in FGCU history to win double-digit games along with fellow wins-record holder Chris Sale. He is also one of just nine pitchers in the A-Sun in the last 10 years to win double-digit games in a season. Murray is on pace for at least two more starts before the conclusion of the regular season.
Garrett Anderson (Arcadia, Fla./DeSoto HS) threw 2.2 innings of scoreless relief on the way to picking up the first save of his career. The freshman has now thrown 33.1 innings this season. FGCU freshman hurlers have combined for 108.1 innings this season; Anderson is second on that list.
At the plate the Green and Blue came alive in this one with four players at the top of the order combining for 10 of the 11 FGCU hits on Friday afternoon. Jake Noll (Punta Gorda, Fla./Charlotte HS) posted a 3-5 effort and scored twice giving him 76 hits this season.Michael Suchy (Bradenton, Fla./Southeast HS) also added three hits and homered once to tie the score in the third. Colton Bottomley (Parkland, Fla./Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS) homered and drove in two runs while Nick Rivera (Cape Coral, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) homered and drove in four.
“The bats really picked up Mike today,” FGCU head coach Dave Tollett added. “Murray picked up a milestone win and it’s something to be proud of. It was great to see the bats come alive and support him today.”
FGCU went down quietly in the first and NKU stormed out of the gates in the bottom half. The Norse quickly loaded the bases before Murray struck out the A-Sun homerun leader and picked up a shallow fly out. The inning would have ended if not for an FGCU error that allowed the first run of the game to score and leave the Eagles down 1-0 after the first.
Still trailing in the third with two outs and a runner on, Bottomley homered to left to give the Eagles their first lead of the game. Suchy followed with a long shot over the left field wall to push the lead to 3-1.
NKU would respond in the fourth with two runs to tie the score and regained the lead in the fifth with a triple and a single with two outs. In the sixth, Suchy led off with a double and came around to score on the Rivera homerun to left. The Norse went to the bullpen at that point and Cody Hoffner (Sebring, Fla./Broward College) walked and moved up to second on a wild pitch. Blake Berger (Jacksonville, Fla./Santa Fe College) singled to drive in Hoffner and give FGCU a 6-4 lead.
The Norse added a fifth run in the bottom of the sixth with a homerun but in the top of the seventh, Noll led off with a single and stole second, his 22nd stolen base of the year. Suchy followed with a walk and Rivera singled to left, driving in Noll. FGCU completed the scoring in the ninth with an insurance run, giving Anderson plenty of cushion to lock down the 8-5 victory secure his first save.
The Eagles return to the field tomorrow at 1 p.m. and will conclude the series at NKU on Sunday at Noon. 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.
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 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.