No. 1 Eagles take down UNF in first round of A-Sun tournament
With an NCAA berth on the line, Michael Murray on the mound and something to prove, the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles took down North Florida, 5-3, in the first game of the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament Wednesday night.
With the No. 1 seed and a 36-20 (19-8 A-Sun) record, the Eagles put A-Sun pitcher of the year, Michael Murray on the mound to start the tournament. Through six innings, Murray (13-1) struck out one, walked one and allowed eight hits.
Coming into the game with a No. 6 seed and a 22-29 ( 11-16 A-Sun) record, the Ospreys put David Trexler (6-4) on the mound. Through six innings, Trexler threw six strike outs, walked five and allowed seven hits before being relieved by Corbin Olmstead.
The Eagles got an early lead in the third inning after a single from Michael Suchy with bases loaded allowed Alex Diaz to make FGCU’s first run of the day. A walk and fly ball would bring home Jake Noll and Suchy to give the Eagles a 3-0 lead.
In the fourth inning, the Ospreys found an opportunity in Murray’s pitching. UNF’s Trent Higginbothem doubled down the left field line, giving the Ospreys an opportunity to score. Another hit through a hole in the Eagles’ offense allowed Higginbothem to score for the Ospreys, closing the gap to 3-2. Later that inning, a single from Colton Bottomly gave the Eagles a chance to widened their lead to, 4-2.
After six innings, left-handed pitcher Andris Gonzalez came in as a relief to Murray.
Soon after Gonzalez’s entrance into the game, UNF closed the gap to a one-run game, again, after another run drove in from Peyton Walsh in the seventh.
FGCU’s Nick Rivera answered the Osprey’s run in the top of the seventh with an out-of-the-park home run — his sixth of the season — to bring the score to 5-3. The Eagles finished the game with pitcher and third baseman, Zach Tillery, who threw two strike outs and allowed one hit.
The Eagles, now 37-20 ( 20-8 in A-Sun), will play the winner of tonight’s game between Lipscomb and Jacksonville in their next round of tournament play on Thursday, May 22 at 8:15 p.m.