Dylan Schmittler also contributed to this report.
Coming this spring, Florida Gulf Coast University’s baseball team will look to have another strong year and make it to the NCAA tournament they fell short of this past season. The Eagles have brought in former FGCU pitcher Pete Woodworth as an assistant coach.
Before graduating in 2010, Woodworth racked up 25 wins in his career making him the programs all-time wins leader. He compiled a 4.59 ERA in his career and posted a 25-9 record over 61 games and 39 starts. Woodworth pitched alongside Major League Baseball All-Star and FGCU alum Chris Sale and collected a 9-2 record in his final season wearing green and blue. During that year, Woodworth struck out 67 batters to bring his total to 261 overall while just walking over 108 batters over his career.
Since leaving FGCU at the end of the 2010 season, Woodworth signed as a free agent with the Tampa Bay Rays and pitched for the Gulf Coast League Rays for a year. Woodworth returned to FGCU in 2011, where he volunteered as an assistant coach for a year before heading back to Tampa Bay to serve as an area scout, then Nova Southeastern University, where he accepted a job as a pitching coach. The Nova Sharks put up a 3.23 ERA record in 2014 under Woodworth’s coaching.
“We are excited to have Pete back as a part of our program,” FGCU head coach Dave Tollett said. “He was a great player for us and a leader in our program during his career. He is going to provide some new perspective to our young but experienced pitching staff and hopefully help us take the next step.”
He will be in charge of a pitching staff that returns four of its five starters from last season, including reigning Atlantic Sun Pitcher of the Year and All-American Mike Murray. The four starters each posted ERA’s below 4.00 last season, two of which led the Atlantic Sun. The rotation posted a team combined ERA of 3.32 during the regular season.
Mike Murray managed a 1.85 ERA in 107 innings and set an FGCU single-season record 13 wins, which also led the nation. Second in the Atlantic Sun right behind Murray was Brady Anderson with a 2.45 ERA and a 5-3 record, also recording seven saves.
Woodworth has joined FGCU to help the Eagles improve on their already impressive 39-22 record from the 2014 season. In the Atlantic Sun, the Eagles finished 19-8 and held up the regular season championship. The team ended its year with a loss in the A-Sun tournament to Lipscomb in the semifinal round after losing to them two rounds before. The A-Sun now being reduced to eight teams with the exit of Mercer and East Tennessee State will likely require a longer tournament format and more wins from each team in order to advance to the finals. The Eagles will now be more likely to add an Atlantic Sun tournament championship and an NCAA tournament appearance to their already long list of achievements.