By Jaspreet Grewal
Canadian Baseball Network
TORONTO – Perhaps it was the calmness of the Rogers Centre on Saturday evening that set the stage for a remarkable performance by right-hander Thomas Murphy.
The Whitby, Ont., native was lights out in short time, striking out five through four innings without allowing a hit, as his Ontario Green routed the Futures Navy 9-1 in Tournament 12 play, improving to 3-1 on the weekend.
The 6-foot-3 righty flourished on the bump, throwing at 85 mph consistently and locking in on the strike zone, but it was simplicity that allowed Murphy to thrive.
“I’m not throwing my hardest, I’m just trying to get in the zone,” said Murphy, as he stood beside the visitors’ dugout following his team’s victory. “All you need to do is throw strikes, let your defence do the work and trust that they’re going to get the ball to home.”
Murphy went on to pitch four innings of no-hit ball before Erik Tyler (London, Ont.) took to the mound in the fifth and proceeded to toss three hitless innings of his own, though he did issue six walks to go with his six strikeouts.
Though it is never easy to be stopped short of an impressive performance, the 17-year old Murphy understands the purpose of Tournament 12.
“It’s all about showcasing the players, you can’t have someone with a full game, so I get it completely,” he said. “The coach told me he had to take me out, and I told him it was fine.”
Though Ontario Green were unable to collect many hits until the final inning, they were sure to take advantage of some shaky pitching from the opposition.
Futures’ Keegan Pulford-Thorpe (Newmarket, Ont.) managed only two innings in his first start, allowing two earned runs and walking five before being replaced in the third by reliever Hayden Pilmer (Windsor, Ont.).
Pulford-Thorpe’s struggles began early, as the right hander walked Ontario Green’s first four batters, eventually leading to a run each for Cameron Sanderson (Ilderton, Ont.) and Dasan Brown (Oakville, Ont.), giving them the quick 2-0 lead.
Ontario went on to collect two more runs in the second and third, respectively, courtesy of a Noah Hull (Toronto) single that would be followed by an RBI base hit by Sanderson in the third. Sanderson racked up two of the club’s nine total RBIs in the win.
Despite the game being decided after four innings of play, the seventh featured five total runs for Ontario, including three singles and a pair of walks, to seal the deal for the men in green.
Blake Buckle (Milton, Ont.), Dylan Whittaker (Oakville, Ont.), Udhay Bal (Brampton, Ont.) and Noah London (Whitby, Ont.) each added an RBI for Ontario.