Murray leads Post 14 past Devils Lake
Jamestown Post 14 starting pitcher Drew Murray went up to coach Justin Connell during the fifth inning Friday and asked if he could finish the game. Connell quickly responded: "absolutely."
Murray pitched seven innings of one-run, four-hit ball as Post 14 defeated Devils Lake 4-1 during the American Legion Baseball Phil Brown Classic at Jack Brown Stadium. Post 14 fell 4-0 to Carrington to end day 1 and will play West Fargo today at 5:45 p.m.
"I have a lot of confidence with Drew on the mound," Connell said. "He was very confident with what he had going on today."
Murray, the only post-grad player on the team, retired nine of the first 10 hitters he faced. Nate Grafsgaard hit a bleeder down the third-base line to give the Storm their first hit of the contest in the third inning.
"He cruised through three innings with 32 pitches," Connell said. "That's what we needed out of him and that's how you go seven innings.
"He's very successful in the bottom half of the strike zone. His pitches were falling very well into the right handers, which resulted in a lot of swings out of Devils Lake where they weren't expecting that ball to fall into their feet."
The only bad inning for Murray was in the fourth where three of the first four hitters hit a single to load the bases. Micheal Widmer, the next hitter, worked a seven-pitch, bases-loaded walk to score the Storm's only run.
After the 23-pitch fourth frame, Murray only faced 11 hitters, just two over the minimum, for the last three innings.
Murray's lengthy start on the mound will help the Jamestown pitching staff be able to use more arms during the next four games of the Phil Brown Classic and a doubleheader on Monday, June 9, against the Bismarck 15s.
Dawson Douty, Ryder Lunzman and Tommy Falk recorded the only three Jamestown hits during the first inning. After Falk scored Douty with a single, Post 14 used a RBI groundout by Chris Erickson and a sacrifice fly by Kohl Kratz to take a 3-0 lead.
Chris Erickson hit a sacrifice fly to plate Douty in the second inning to give Jamestown a commanding 4-0 lead.
"We did a nice job of getting guys in and scoring guys early with the three-run and two-run innings," Connell said. "But you'd like to keep your foot on the gas pedal.
"The guys are finally old enough to figure that stuff out and they're doing exactly what you have to do to win baseball games."
After Post 14 chased the Storm's starting pitcher Hunter Swanson after 1 1/3 innings, Connor Larson worked the rest of the game without allowing a run or hit.
"The second guy Devils Lake brought in did a nice job of keeping us off the bases," Connell said, whose team was held to three walks for the remainder of the game.
With Murray not available to pitch for the remainder of the Phil Brown Classic, Jamestown will have six pitchers available that have thrown significant innings this summer.
Jamestown Post 14 4, Devils Lake 1
DL 000 100 0 -- 1 4 0
JAM 310 000 X -- 4 3 0
W--Drew Murray. L-Hunter Swanson.
Post 14 highlights: Drew Murray 7 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 4 K, 2 BB; Dawson Douty 1-3, 2 R, BB; Ryder Lunzman 1-4, R; Tommy Falk 1-1, 2B, RBI, 2 BB.
Record: Jamestown 10-7.