Central Rebels hurler Casen Murphy spun an absolute gem on Thursday, and it led to the third consecutive victory for this Park Hills squad to start the season. After making mincemeat of St. Charles and Duchesne in the season-opening double-header, the Rebels smoked Arcadia Valley 7-0 to move to 3-0.
This one started out with Murphy striking out the side in the first, and then picking up the first RBI of the game in the bottom half. Ty Schweiss led off the inning with a single, which was followed by a walk by Jaxon Jones. An error by the Tigers’ pitcher allowed Schweiss to score before Murphy roped a line-drive single to center to score Jones.
Murphy then struck out the side again in the second and the third, and once again singled in Jones in the bottom half of the third to give Central a 3-0 lead. We’re sensing a theme here.
Then in the fourth inning Murphy fanned the first two batters, but got the final hitter of the inning to ground out to third. Ho hum. His day on the mound was completed after four frames, and all he did was allow a lone hit while striking out 11 of the 13 batters he faced.
He didn’t walk a man and only one runner reached first base. Just one. The other hitter who made contact was the aforementioned groundout… and the rest of the Tigers just whiffed.
In the bottom half of the fourth Jobe Bryant singled and Schweiss was hit by a pitch, leading to Jones stepping into one and lining a fastball into the centerfield gap. His frozen rope scored both runners and the Rebels were sitting comfortably with a 5-0 lead.
Lucas Whitehead came on in the fifth and picked up a pair of Ks in a perfect inning of relief. Central picked up an unearned run in the bottom of the inning before Whitehead came back out for the sixth, where he promptly struck out the side.
The Rebels got one more run in the final inning on a Sammy Callaway double that scored Jones, and the game was called after six frames and a 7-0 score.
The pitching was beyond lights out in this one. Murphy and Whitehead combined for a one-hit shutout and didn’t allow a walk. An incredible 16 of the 18 outs came via strikeout and no runner reached 2nd base. Pure dominance.
Offensively Murphy led the way with a 3-for-4 day at the plate and a pair of RBI, while Jones reached in every plate appearance, drove in two, scored three times and swiped two bags. Bryant was 1-for-3, scored and run and stole a pair of bases as well.
This one couldn’t have been drawn up any better, and the Rebels are now sitting pretty at 3-0. Their toughest test of the season will come on Monday though, as they travel to Festus to take on a loaded Tigers lineup.