On the eve of the start of the conference tournament, the Atlantic Sun announced its 2013 postseason awards voted on by the league head coaches on Tuesday, as FGCU saw a total of six players honored, including a trio of the All-Conference first team.
Highlighting the Eagles' postseason honorees, junior infielder?Brandon Bednar was one of only four unanimous choices and joined junior outfielder Sean Dwyer and junior right-hander Ricky Knapp on the A-Sun All-Conference first team. Sopho-more outfielder Michael Suchy was selected as an All-Conference second team member, while right-hander Michael Murray and infielder Nick Rivera were both tabbed unanimous All-Freshmen squad choices.
"Its great for these six players and our team to receive this recognition from the A-Sun coaches," said FGCU head coach Dave Tollett. "These guys have put in the time and effort both on the field and in the classroom and continue to compete at high level. I want to congratulate them for the hard work and dedication that has earned them this recognition."
Having played all four infield positions for the Eagles and leading them in multiple offensive categories, Bednar earned his first career All-Conference honor as a unanimous first team selection at second base. Swiping a team-best seven stolen bases, the Stuart, Fla. product sits ninth in the A-Sun in batting average (.345), fifth in runs scored (51), second in hits (82) and fifth in doubles (17), numbers which also lead the Eagles. Matching a team-best 46 RBI, Bednar owns a team-high 32 multi-hit games and 13 multi-RBI contests, establishing a 12-game hit streak and reaching base in 19 straight games during the season.
Hitting in the three-hole for the majority of the season, Dwyer has started all 55 games for FGCU in left field. He is third on team in batting average (.324), hits (68), runs scored (43) and RBI (45), while second in on-base percentage (.418) and first in triples (5). The Tavares, Fla. native has recorded 17 multi-hit games and seven multi-RBI performances, establishing a 12-game hit streak earlier this year. Selected to the A-Sun Preseason All-Con-ference second team by College Sports Madness, Dwyer was also named an A-Sun Top Returning Hitter entering the year.
The ace on the mound for the Eagles this season, Knapp is fourth in the A-Sun in ERA (2.02), third in opponents batting average (.232), fifth in inning pitched (93.2) and tied for second in wins (9). Named the 2012 Atlantic Sun Pitcher of the Year and one of two unanimous A-Sun All-Conference first team selections, Knapp leads FGCU in nearly all statistical categories.
Providing power in the two-hole as of late, Suchy his brought his average up to .320 and has connected for a team-high nine home runs, tying a team-best 46 RBI and scoring 37 times. Also matching Bednar with seven stolen bases this season, Suchy is reaching base at a .391 rate and has a .484 slugging percentage. The Bradenton, Fla. native has played in all 55 games, making 54 starts in the outfield, and sits fourth on the team in batting average. Suchy owns 21 multi-hit games this season and 10-multi RBI games, establishing an eight-game hit streak and reaching base safely in 15 straight games during the year.
The Eagles No. 2 starter throughout the season, Murray is 5-1 on the year after working 79 innings on the mound. The first-year hurler holds a 3.19 ERA, allowing 30 runs (28 earned) on 75 hits and fanning 52 batters. He is second on the team in innings pitched and fourth in strikeouts and has held opponents to a .258 batting average. The West Palm Beach, Fla. native has worked at least five innings in 11 of his 13 starts on the year and has started two of the Eagles' seven shutouts this season.
In his true freshman season, Rivera has been highly productive at the plate for the Green and Blue. Competing in 54 games with 49 starts, Rivera sits eighth on the team with a .289 batting average and is second on team with eight homeruns and fifth with 34 RBI. The Cape Coral product sports a .391 on-base percentage with a .500 slugging percentage, recording 14 multi-hit games with nine multi-RBI performances.
The second-seeded Eagles (37-18, 19-8 A-Sun) will open play at the A-Sun Championship on Wednesday at 5 p.m. in Deland, Fla. when it takes on seventh-seeded Kennesaw State (26-28, 13-14 A-Sun).