Murphy Hits Three Home Runs to Lead Buffalo Rout
DURHAM, NC - Sophomore catcher Tom Murphy stroked a career-high three home runs as Buffalo matched yesterday's output of five home runs with five more longballs to key an 11-6 win over North Carolina Central Saturday afternoon. It was the team's second straight win and clinched the three-game weekend series after taking the first two.
The team's offense were methodical yet again facing the Eagle pitching staff, starting in the first inning with a solo home run by Daniel Scahill with one out. In the third with the score tied 1-1, Matt Pollock led off with a walk and moved to third on a double by Scahill. A walk by Alex Baldock loaded the bases with no outs and Murphy came through with a sacrifice fly. Scahill was scored by a River McWilliams sacrifice bunt and a double by Eric Bryce plated Baldock to cap the three-run inning.
NC Central responded again with two more runs to tighten the contest at 4-3 in favor of Buffalo. The offense again came through though, with a duo of home runs to score another three runs in the fifth inning. Murphy hit a solo shot and, after McWilliams reached on a single, Bryce continued a fantastic weekend with a two-run home run, his third in the past two games. Three more runs came in the sixth after Murphy hit his second home run in as many innings, this time a three-run shot to right field that scored Pollock and Baldock.
With a commanding 10-6 lead going in to the eighth, Murphy capped off his trifecta with a solo home run to lead off, this time to right center field. For the game, the West Monroe, NY native went 3-4 with the three home runs and six runs batted in to go with one walk. He now has six home runs this season - twice as many as the next Buffalo hitter - and 23 runs batted in (also best on the team).
The second straight offensive outburst helped give starting pitcher Cameron Copping his first win with the team, throwing 4.1 innings and giving up three earned runs while striking out five. Daniel Ginader and Jeff Thompson threw 2.1 innings each and combined to strike out four more NC Central batters in relief.
The final game of the series will begin at noon tomorrow, with Buffalo looking for the first sweep of the season and continued success at the plate.