Murphy Baseball 1st Round Playoff PreviewSports, Team FYN Sports, TeamFYNSports June 14, 2021
Photo credit- BT Douthit
The Murphy Bulldogs finished the regular season at 12-2 overall, with their only 2 losses on the year coming to conference foe Hayesville. The Bulldogs drew the number 11 seed in the random draw for the playoffs this year, meaning they will be on the road for basically the entire playoffs.
In the first round, Murphy will be headed to Boonville, North Carolina to face the number 6 seed Starmount. Starmount finished the year 12-2, and 2nd in the Mountain Valley Conference.
According to MaxPreps rankings, the Bulldogs are the better team. Murphy is ranked 8th in 1A, while Starmount is ranked 11th. However, this is definitely not the first round matchup the Bulldogs had in mind after a phenomenal regular season.
The Rams 2 losses on the year came against the number 1 ranked team in 2A, the West Wilkes Black Hawks. The Rams are outscoring their opponents by 70 runs on the year, averaging nearly 9 runs per game while only giving up 3.9 runs per game.
From the information that I could gather being that they don’t have their stats listed on MaxPreps, Denver Stokes is the main man for Starmount. He leads the team in Batting Average, Hits and RBIs, while also leading the team in innings pitched. On the mound, Stokes has thrown 39 innings while boasting an ERA of 1.44.
It is likely that either Denver Stokes or Sterling Holbrook will be on the mound for the Rams against Murphy.
The Dogs have had a great regular season, aside from the two bumps in the road against former number 1 team in the state Hayesville. The wire-to-wire game against Hayesville the second time out was an awesome game to watch, yet unfortunately for the Dogs it ended in a Hayesville walkoff win. Knowing that you have what it takes to go toe to toe with the top team in the state however has to boost your confidence. The usual in Dawson Hensely, Briggs Cornwell and Caleb Allen will have to have good days at the plate for the Dogs to get a W here against Starmount, and I don’t think that will be a problem. The only thing Murphy should be worried about is their bullpen. They have gotten some strong starts out of some younger guys in the past few games, but their bullpen can’t seem to shut the door on teams completely. They will need a very strong pitching performance all around to beat a high powered, offensive minded team like Starmount on Tuesday.
I think this one will be fairly high scoring and come all the way down to the wire. Murphy is going to be traveling and the Rams will have that homefield advantage, so we will see if Murphy can stay in it early. If they do, I think they come away with a 9-8 victory and advance to the second round. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Hensley or Cornwell go yard in this one.
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