Will described his complete-game shutout Thursday as the best pitching performance of his career.
…eleven strikeouts in 7 innings. He struck out the side in two innings.
…5-2/3 innings of no-hit pitching: Will came within four outs of a no-hitter.
…he threw a first pitch strike to 20 of the 25 batter he faced.
…ZERO walks. Will only got to a three ball count on 2 batters (both struck out).
…84 pitches, 62 strikes, 22 balls…74% strikes.
…Will allowed only three hits.
…two putouts, pitcher to first.
Additionally, combined with his last two pitching performances, in the last 10-1/3 shutout innings, Will had 18 strikeouts against one walk, and a stretch of 7-1/3 no-hit innings. One batter leaned into a pitch that barely grazed his shirtsleeve. Take that away, and it was 7-1/3 perfect innings of pitching.
Will also came around at the plate, with five hits in the doubleheader. He reached base seven straight times, scored 3 runs, and drove in two, from the leadoff spot.
Behind Will’s shutout, Crown beat South Atlanta 6-0 in the tournament’s 11 am opening game. In the bottom of the fourth Will chopped a full count payoff pitch through the hole into left field, driving in Ray from third. In the sixth Will had an RBI double to left.
After sitting out the two afternoon games, Crown’s bats woke up and beat McDonough’s New Creation Academy 13-4. Will scored three runs, reached base all five times, drove in a run, and collected a single, double, and triple.
Leading off the game for the visiting Knights, Will walked on a full count, advanced to third on Casey’s single, and scored on Perry’s single.
In the second Will doubled to right field, and in the third Will’s single to right drove in Ray. In the fifth inning Will tripled past the rightfielder, to drive in Andrew. Will scored on Casey’s double.
One of the features of this tournament Crown is hosting is having each batter announced over the loudspeaker as he comes to bat. In the first two games Tanner’s dad Jay did a quite professional job. During the second game Will rested above the concession stands and studied. He came downstairs for the start of game three, and took over the announcing duties from Jay.
While Will was announcing the game, Mary-Clayton arrived and sat by Will. When Will had to go warm up for his game, Mary-Clayton took over the announcing duties. She continued announcing during Crown’s game. As expected, hers was a polished, professional performance. Anna, attending her first Crown games of the season, sat with Mary-Clayton.
But as Will led off the sixth, Mary-Clayton broke form and announced “Leading off, my snuggy bear, Will Murphy!” The large crowd, both dugouts, and the players and umpires on the field had a good laugh. Will had to call time to compose himself. The 3-1 pitch was fired right at Will’s feet. He tried to leap out of the way, but couldn’t. After being hit in the foot, Will limped to first. He took second on a wild pitch, advanced to third on a single, then scored on Perry’s deep sacrifice fly.
Will made two good defensive plays at third base. He cut off a sharply hit ground ball in the hole and threw out the batter at first, and later ran far down the third base line to make a nice catch in foul territory.
Friday Crown plays the Carolina Spartans at 5:15, then Saturday plays another 11 am game against the Nashville Monarchs. All varsity tourney games are being played at Mt. Paran.
Matthew may have found his calling: working in the concession stand. I had to grill burgers for two games...a very tiring experience.