Pitcher Tyler Murphy was probably the only player in Turlock High’s dugout sorry to see archrival Pitman eliminated from the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 1 baseball playoffs Tuesday night.
Murphy earned his third victory of the season against the Pride, and No. 3 came in most spectacular fashion. The senior right-hander threw a no-hitter as the Bulldogs won 5-0 to advance to today’s 4 p.m. final against St. Mary’s of Stockton, which just three days earlier ended Turlock’s 26-game winning streak. If the ’Dogs are to advance to next weekend’s section championship game against the North winner, they must beat the Rams twice today at UOP’s Klein Family Field. Game 2, if necessary, would start at 7 p.m.
As for Murphy, well, suffice to say he enjoys pitching against the Pride. The 6-foot-1, 165-pound right-hander struck out 13 and hit a batter — all that separated him from a perfect game — on an economical 97 pitches. In 18 innings against the Pitman this season, Murphy is 3-0 with just four hits allowed, two walks (plus the hit batsman) and a staggering 30 strikeouts.
“Because they’re our rival, there’s a lot of trash talk and stuff like that, and that can motivate me to pitch my absolute best,” Murphy said. “I just tried to zone in and block out all that other stuff.
“I wanted to be on top of my game because my first outing was not my best. I felt like I had to make up for that.”
In Murphy’s first outing of the postseason, his teammates handed him a five-run lead against Enochs that he nearly gave back. He went six, walking four and yielding five earned runs while fanning six in the Bulldogs 11-5 victory. But against the Pride, as usual, he was in total control.