@FGCU_Baseball Cruises to 8-0 Win on Saturday Afternoon
The FGCU baseball team (34-18, 17-6 Atlantic Sun) rolled out a six-run second inning on Saturday afternoon and put this one on cruise control the rest of the way to come away with a 8-0 defeat of ETSU (24-25, 11-11) to secure yet another series victory and create a chance for a sweep on senior day.
Brady Anderson (Arcadia, Fla./DeSoto HS) tossed 7.0 innings of shutout baseball, allowed seven hits and struck out four to secure his fourth victory. Mario Leon (Naples, Fla./Gulf Coast HS) made his second appearance in as many days and stuck out one in his one shutout inning. Brad Labozzetta (Lakeland, Fla./Lakeland HS) worked a scoreless ninth to secure the 8-0 victory. The Eagles have pitched back-to-back shutouts for the second time this season.
Jake Noll (Punta Gorda, Fla./Charlotte HS) put together a 1-5 effort at the plate, extending his hit streak to 14 games and drove in a run. Only Zack Tillery (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier HS) and Gage Morey (West Palm Beach, Fla./PB Central) would pick up multiple hits in this one while Michael Suchy (Bradenton, Fla./Southeast HS) and Alex Diaz (Miami, Fla./John A. Ferguson)each added a pair of runs batted in.
“We were pretty good all-around today,” head coach Dave Tollett added. “Brady pitched great for us and gave us some length and the young guys closed it out for him. The bats put this one away early for us. They’ve been really good lately.”
The Eagles were held scoreless in the first in this one but came alive in the second to virtually seal the game before anyone had time to settle in. Tillery led off the frame with a triple down the line in right and Cody Hoffner (Sebring, Fla./Broward College) followed with a single to drive in the game’s first run. With one away, Tyler Selesky (Estero, Fla./Estero HS) walked to put runners on first and second for Diaz who doubled to drive in two more runs. The Eagles tacked on three more in the second to take an early 6-0 lead that proved to be plenty for Anderson on the mound who worked his longest outing of the year.
In the sixth, with a new arm on the mound for ETSU, Suchy tripled with one out to drive in a run and Tillery later singled to bring in Suchy to provide the eventual final score of 8-0. Leon and Labozzetta cleaned up the eighth and ninth innings for Anderson to secure the shutout.
The previous back-to-back shutouts came on the road at USC Upstate Mar. 21-22 in the Eagles’ first two A-Sun games this season. The Eagles won those games by a combined score of 12-0 and have won these two games this weekend by a combined total of 22-0. The Green and Blue have now outscored their A-Sun opponents 69-23 over the last two weekends and will be in search of a sweep yet again.
Senior day festivities will take place prior the series finale with ETSU on Sunday. The game is scheduled for a Noon start with the ceremony scheduled to begin at approximately 11:30 a.m.
Andrew Valencia (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep) will graduate from the program with 114 starts behind the plate to this point in his career. The Miami native has posted a career .223 batting average to go with six homeruns and 66 RBI. He has also posted a .990 fielding percentage and has thrown out 41 runners which ranks second all-time in FGCU history. Liam Rafferty (Ashburnham, Mass./Sacred Heart Univ.) transferred in to FGCU last season and has appeared in four games in 2014 for a combined 2.0 innings on the mound. Finally the Eagles will honor their student assistant coach Wesley Sargent (Palm Harbor, Fla./East Lake HS) who wore the uniform as a player for two seasons before moving into an assistant coaching role each of the last two seasons. Sargent has assisted with player development as well as general operations within the program.
FRIDAY NIGHT #MURRAYMAGIC
Mike Murray cruised through six shutout innings on Friday night, throwing just 67 pitches to guide FGCU to a 14-0 defeat of defending A-Sun Champion ETSU 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), who just last night was named to the 30-man watch list for the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award, the award that chooses a national player of the year in college baseball, became the first pitcher in the nation this season to reach the 12-win plateau, lowering his A-Sun best ERA to 1.41 and picking up two strikeouts to extend his league-leading total to 73. After the game, Murray received a water cooler shower from his teammates to celebrate the historic accomplishment.
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 also been named to 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.
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 $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.