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FGCU Pitcher Murray named to the 2014 NCBWA All-America Third Team

The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association 19th annual Division I All- America baseball squads (first, second and third teams) again features a cavalcade of the nation’s elite players in 2014. FGCU star right-hander Mike Murray has been named to the Third Team, adding to his already impressive list of accomplishments for his 2014 season.

“Mike’s record setting year is continuing to get well-deserved recognition,” head coach Dave Tollett said in a press release. “He is one of three All-Americans that we have ever had and to continue to be put in the same categories as Chris Sale says a lot about how great he was this year and how great he could become.”

Murray had arguably the greatest season any FGCU pitcher has ever had with a school record 13 wins and an A-Sun best 1.85 ERA to go with 79 strikeouts which also led the conference. Murray became the fourth A-Sun Pitcher of the Year for the Eagles. He joined Richard Bleier (2008), Chris Sale (2010) and Ricky Knapp (2012), all of whom are now playing professional baseball. He was also tabbed to the A-Sun First Team.

In 2013, Murray finished his freshman season 5-1 and a 2.93 ERA in 86 innings of work for the Eagles. Murray was also a Freshman All-American and a member of the Atlantic Sun All-Freshmen team last season.

Murray became one of just nine pitchers in the A-Sun over the last 10 years to win double-digit games in a season. The sophomore was a semifinalist for the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award which names college baseball’s best player. He has also been named to the 18-Man College Baseball Hall of Fame Pitcher of the Year watch list and is a Louisville Slugger Second Team All-American in recognition of the stellar season he put together.

His name is routinely mentioned alongside players from all of the power conferences, including in-state rivals and perennial college baseball powers, Florida State, University of Miami and University of Florida. He is the only player on the College Baseball Hall of Fame watch list that comes from the A-Sun.

Earlier this year, Murray became only 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, which led the nation this season, Murray’s ERA dropped as low as 0.18 at one point.

Murray also tossed 7.1 innings against the nationally ranked Florida Gators on Feb. 27. He surrendered just one run and struck out four to guide the Eagles to a 2-1 victory. He would allow just three hits through the first seven innings and for the second-consecutive start would not give up an earned run.

The balance in talent on each of these three teams again indicates the close competition among 302 Division I schools for the coveted eight places in the June 14-25 NCAA World Series starting Saturday at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb.

In fact, the All-America team is represented by 39 different teams and 17 conferences. There are 23 Division I circuit players or pitchers of the year on the three units, and 10 standouts who led their teams to NCAA Super Regionals and/or the 2014 NCAA World Series.

The Eagles finished the season with a 39-22 record and their 19-8 mark in the A-Sun earned them their fourth A-Sun Regular Season Championship in school history.

Next year, Murray will be eligible for the 2015 MLB Draft.

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