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Thursday February 27, 2014FGCU Edges No. 23 Florida Baseball, 2-1

Gainesville, Fla.

FGCU sophomore right-hander Michael Murray (2-0) carried a shutout into the eighth inning and the Eagles (6-3) plated a pair of unearned runs to down No. 23 Florida (5-4), 2-1, on Thursday night at McKethan Stadium.

 

Over 7.1 innings, Murray scattered seven hits, registered four strikeouts and yielded an unearned run before redshirt sophomore Brady Anderson recorded the final five outs to secure his third save. In his second career start, freshman righty Logan Shore (Coon Rapids, Minn.) (0-1) posted Gator season-highs in strikeouts (7) and innings pitched (6.0) but suffered the defeat, as the hosts committed a season-high four errors.

 

FGCU seized a 1-0 lead on a one-out RBI double in the third inning by redshirt freshman Jake Noll (2-for-4, two  RBI). After Shore retired the leadoff batter, redshirt junior Alex Diaz reached on a fielding error by freshman first baseman A.J. Puk (Cedar Rapids, Iowa). Noll followed with a double to left field to score Diaz and took third on the relay home. Shore responded with consecutive strikeouts to strand the runner.

 

Noll provided the Eagles with a 2-0 advantage in the fifth with an RBI single. Redshirt junior Gage Morey opened the frame with a single and went to second on an error by freshman center fielder Buddy Reed (Finksburg, Md.). Diaz sacrificed Morey to third base and Noll collected his second RBI of the night with a base-hit to left field.

 

In the eighth, sophomore Richie Martin (Brandon, Fla.) (2-for-4) legged out a bunt and junior Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) (2-for-4) singled through the right side to cause a pitching change with one down. Anderson replaced Murray and a passed ball enabled the Gators to have a pair of runners in scoring position. The reliever struck out junior Taylor Gushue (Boca Raton, Fla.) and junior Braden Mattson (San Antonio, Texas) cut the hosts’ deficit in half with an infield single that brought home Martin. With runners on the corners, Anderson had a fielder’s choice by junior Zack Powers (Seffner, Fla.) force Mattson at second base for the final out.

 

Although freshman Peter Alonso (Tampa, Fla.) opened the ninth with a single, the Gators were unable to plate the equalizer. Another bright spot for UF was the performance of sophomore Eric Hanhold (Palm Harbor, Fla.), who struck out three batters over two innings or scoreless and hitless relief.

 

Postgame Quotes

Head coach Kevin O’Sullivan

On Logan Shore’s second career start:

“He threw great; he threw well enough to win. I’m really proud of the way he threw the ball.”

 

On the defensive issues throughout the game:

“You have to keep the ball in front of you. We had too many errors with balls underneath the glove, it’s as simple as that.”

 

On Florida Gulf Coast’s starter, RHP Michael Murray:

“Their starter was really good; he kept us off-balance, we had a game plan. We knew he was going to throw break-up balls early, and fastball counts, especially with runners in scoring position. We knew that left-handers were going to get changeups early, and then fastballs with runners in scoring positions; we knew that. We were unable to make an adjustment.”

 

Freshman right-hander Logan Shore

On his pitching performance tonight (7 strikeouts in 6 innings):

“I am just trying to build off of my last start and throw strikes against another aggressive team -- just trying to get ahead. I did my best to try to limit the damage and get us in the dugout with as few runs as possible. Everyone is working hard and playing as hard as they can. Errors are going to happen, but we just have to work on it a little bit more.”

        

Series Between Gators & Eagles

·         With the setback, Florida falls to 7-5 all-time vs. FGCU, with a 5-5 clip in Gainesville. The Gators slipped to 4-1 in games decided by two runs or less vs. the Eagles.

 

For Starters

·         Florida started a season-high five freshmen and a total of six newcomers in tonight’s lineup.

·         Freshman A.J. Puk made his first collegiate start at 1B.

·         Junior Braden Mattson made his second-career start behind the plate for the Gators.

·         After starting at catcher the first seven games, junior Taylor Gushue made his second-consecutive start as the DH for the Orange and Blue.

·         Freshman RHP Logan Shore made his second-career start on the mound, his first coming vs. UCF on Feb. 18.

 

From the Mound

·         Shore recorded a personal-best seven strikeouts, the most by any Gator pitcher this season, in 6.0 innings, the longest outing by a Gator starter this season.

·         Sophomore right-hander Eric Hanhold made his fifth appearance this season, his third in three games, relieving Shore to start the seventh. He punched out three batters in his 2.0-inning stint, matching a season-high.

·         Sophomore RHP Aaron Rhodes made his third appearance on the mound to start the final frame, followed by freshmen southpaw Kirby Snead and righty Shaun Anderson.

·         The Gators tallied a season-high 10 K tonight.

 

Thursday Notables

·         Sophomore Richie Martin extended his hitting streak to 13-straight games dating back to last season.

·         Going 2-for-4, Martin recorded his fourth multiple-hit game of the season and the 17th of his career.

·         Gushue increased his hitting streak to nine-games with two-out single in the third.

·         Junior Casey Turgeon notched his third multiple-hit game of the season, the 34th of his career.

·         Junior Zack Powers connected with his first multiple-base hit of the season, knocking a double to right center to lead off the bottom of the seventh.

·         Mattson tallied his seventh RBI, scoring Martin from third on an infield single. Mattson now has an eight game hitting streak.

 

Up Next

There will be a doubleheader at McKethan Stadium tomorrow, as FGCU faces Illinois at 1 p.m., and the Gators take on the Fighting Illini at 7 p.m. All four games for UF this weekend can be heard on the Gator IMG Sports Network with Jeff Cardozo and Steve Russell.

 

Follow the Gators

Live stats for each game are available on GatorZone.com and fans can also receive updates of each game on @GatorZoneBB, the official Twitter account of the Gator baseball team.

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