BANC Beats Redmen 3-1 in Greenwich Senior Babe Ruth Clash
If Vincent Murphy wasn’t going to be around after Monday afternoon’s game, the BANC starting pitcher certainly made the most of his last day with his team.
Murphy, who is slated to leave for summer classes back at the University of Buffalo on Tuesday, put BANC on his shoulders to help force a deciding game for the Greenwich Senior Babe Ruth league championship and beat perennial powers Redmen 3-1.
“It was really great to get the win today,” BANC head coach Pierce Foster said. “This team has played really well all year. We just didn’t get a break. We didn’t get to see Redmen except for once and we lost a game where we were leading going into the seventh inning. To come back and beat them, after playing a tough game against Rink & Racket, was really great. We are really happy.”
With the victory, BANC forced the deciding game in the double-elimination tournament slated for Wednesday afternoon.
“A couple of walks early hurt us a little bit,” Redmen head coach Steve DeRosa said. “We weren’t really able to jump on them like we usually like to do. We are going to be ready to go on Wednesday. Some of these guys have been on the team all three years when we won championships and that’s the culture here.”
The star of the game was Murphy and his dominating performance.
“We were really happy to have him for one more game,” Foster said. “That was a big factor. He’s been dominant all year and had a 17-strikeout game in the regular season. He’s been very good.”
Using a combination of a sidearm and overhand pitching style, the Murphy was lights out in the must-win for BANC.
“It felt great to pull through for my team today,” Murphy said. “I was giving it everything that I had and they gave me all they had. I feel that we pulled through and made the plays. It was a well-rounded game.”
The BANC pitcher forced the hard-hitting Redmen to go down in order in the first, fourth, fifth and seventh innings. Murphy ended the day with eight strikeouts.
“My fastball felt good today,” Murphy said. “I’m a power pitcher on this level and they couldn’t hit it. Combining that with my slider and offspeeds, they couldn’t hit those as well. I was switching up sidearm and overhand because I’m unique I guess. It helps to switch it up because they don’t know what’s coming. I have multiple pitches from every angle.”
DeRosa knew that it was going to be a challenge with Murphy grabbing the ball for BANC and having him on his game.
“Whenever you have Vin Murphy on the mound, you know he’s going to pitch a real good game,” DeRosa said. “He gets ahead in a lot of counts and makes our hitters guess. I think that was big difference. My hat’s off to Murphy because he pitched a really good game today.”
Behind Murphy’s solid start, BANC got all the runs they needed in the top of the second inning.
Will McCormick started things off with a single to center. Peter Delepine came up next and moved McCormick to second with an infield single. After McCormick advanced to third on a pop out, Nayro Mojica smacked a single to center to plate McCormick and give BANC the 1-0 lead.
Stephen Mojica loaded the bases up when he was hit by a pitch and BANC forced in another run when Henry Foster was also hit by a pitch. Tyler Phillips netted an RBI by drawing a walk and just like that, it was BANC that grabbed the 3-0 lead.
“The beginning runs that they gave up were exactly what we needed,” Murphy said. “We didn’t score after that and were able to hold them to only one run, which is really hard to do. It felt great.”
After the Phillip’s walk, Redmen went to the bullpen and Slater Jones was more than ready for the challenge. He got the first batter he faced to hit into a 1-2-3 double play to end the inning.
The next five innings, only three batters reached base and Jones did his best to keep the Redmen within striking distance.
C.J. Tyler helped the Redmen get on the board in the fifth inning. He started the inning by drawing a walk and immediately stole both second and third bases. Kaelan Gillick then hit a sacrifice fly to deep center and easily plated Tyler to cut the deficit to 3-1.
Redmen’s best chance to cut into the lead took place in the second inning, just after BANC plated the three runs. Jesse Hupal got things going with a single to center. A wild pitch during Kyle Gillick’s at bat moved Hupal to second and he moved to third when Kyle Gillick grabbed an infield single.
With one out, Jones helped his own cause by drawing a walk to load the bases. However that’s when Murphy buckled down and struck out the next two batters to end the threat.
Redmen had a couple of other chances in the game, but the ball just wasn’t able to find any holes in the field. It also didn’t help that BANC was stingy with its defense.
“We played very good defense and that’s kind of been our Achilles heel for us,” Foster said. “We’ve pitched really well but our defense has been a little off for us at times. I was committed to putting the best nine that I had out there and played them. I wanted to get some of the other kids in there, but in a tight game in the playoffs it’s hard to do.”
Wednesday afternoon will decide the championship in the Greenwich Senior Babe Ruth League and you can bet both teams are going to be ready.
“I always preach to these guys that no matter what you do in life, whether work, school or a job, you always aim to be the best,” DeRosa said. “There’s no point in going out there day after day if you don’t want to be the best. These guys want it. We want to come out fired up and ready to play.”