FGCU baseball prepares for 2015 season
With the return of Preseason All-American pitcher Mike Murray backed by a deep pitching staff, the mound will be the Florida Gulf Coast University baseball team’s biggest weapon coming into the 2015 season.
“We’re very excited to get this thing going” said head coach Dave Tollett. “I think you’re going to see a different team than you’ve seen in the past. I think you’re going to see a team with a bit more speed and a little more aggressive than we’ve been in the past, but I think our pitching is going to keep us in a lot of baseball games.”
The Eagles bring back Murray, the 2014 Atlantic Sun Pitcher of the Year after an impressive sophomore season rivaling that of former FGCU pitcher and current White Sox All-Star Chris Sale. Last season, Murray earned a program record of 13 wins, a conference best 1.85 ERA along with 79 strikeouts unrivaled by another pitcher in the Atlantic Sun. Behind Murray, the Eagles add Brady Anderson, senior Nick Deckert, senior Jack English, and others to a very deep pitching staff.
The Eagles face a challenging schedule in 2015, including five top 50 teams across the country. The schedule includes No. 40 Illinois, No. 23 Nebraska, No. 19 Kennesaw State No. 11 Florida State and No. 9 Miami.
“What we’re looking to get our RPI number up there,” Tollett said, “we’re looking to get an at-large bid and Kennesaw State, Miami and FSU are all Top 25 teams right now and we’ll do everything we can to beat them and we’re looking to be the first team in school history to get an at-large bid.”
On Friday, FGCU will have its home and season opener at Swanson Stadium against Central Michigan at 6:30 p.m. to start off a four-game series against the Chippewas.
“The first game of the season is always a bit nerve-wracking,” said Murray. “Start off with a loss, not too great. Start with a win, now you’re cookin’, and it’s great. This is a new year, we want to start fresh. I think we have a great team and I feel like we’re going to do great on Friday night and I think we’ll keep the good vibes and great energy going.”