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Eagles close out season on the road

May 16, 2014
Special to the Breeze , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - FGCU's baseball team (35-18, 18-6 Atlantic Sun) makes its final road trip to conclude the regular season this weekend to Lipscomb (28-25, 15-9 A-Sun).

The Eagles are looking to lock down their fourth A-Sun regular season championship when the three-game series started Thursday night.

With a win and a loss by Mercer (37-13, 17-7 A-Sun), the Eagles earn at least a share of the regular season title. Mercer is at ETSU (24-27, 11-12 A-Sun) for a three-game set this weekend.

Mike Murray was seeking his 13th victory on the hill this season on Thursday night. Murray surpassed the FGCU single-season record of 12 wins, previously held by 2010 National Player of the Year and MLB All-Star Chris Sale, against ETSU last Friday.

Murray went against Ian Martinez-McGraw, who is 7-3 with a 4.15 ERA this season.

Murray, a four-time A-Sun Pitcher of the Week, worked through six shutout innings in his last start at home against ETSU and gave up just three hits and two strikeouts in a 14-0 victory, extending his league-lead in punch outs to 73 and bringing his A-Sun leading ERA to 1.41. He 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 has been named to the 30-Man 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 has 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.

Murray 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 1/3 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 lead the all-time series against the Bisons 12-7. They took two of three from Lipscomb at Swanson Stadium last season and outscored the Bisons 14-8.

It was Lipscomb, however, that ended FGCU's season last year with a 3-2 win in the A-Sun Tournament.

Game 2 of the series is 6 p.m. Friday with the finale at 11 a.m. Saturday.

 
 
 

 

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