Jeff Murray carries Indians to victory in KMRBL action

On a cool, windy night at Highland Field, the D&D Construction Cardinals arrived with a goal to knock off Happys’ Source for Sports Indians, the defending Komoux Masters Real Baseball League and playoff champions from 2010. With the weather acting as an ally, the Cards planned to drag things out – let the warm arms cool, hope that the stands full of Indians’ fans would leave, and sneak in a victory before the sun set and the frost arrived. The strategy was executed almost to perfection. Until late in the bottom of the seventh, the Cards had a lead. Just one more out – life would be good, the struggling franchise would be rejuvenated, the fan base would be perky once again, and more victories would surely follow – just one more out. However, Jeff Murray, Indian sophomore, was to be a problem – all night long. In the first inning, Murray doubled from his number two hitting spot, but no damage. In the third, he reached base on an error while two runs scored. In the sixth, he hammered a triple into the gap (and triples in this league are very rare!) and later scored. For innings five and six, he made his catching debut and did a fine job. But Murray saved his best for inning seven, the deadly seventh. With the Cards up 5-4 and batting, Richard Murphy was a first difficult out. Then up came Egeland – new hip/knee/ eyes – and on a hitting tear earlier in the game. Egeland drove a line shot to right field, sinking fast, looking like the start of a rally and an insurance run. But Murray kicked into gear and made a diving catch of the drive. In the bottom of the seventh, with the stands empty, the sun setting, the arms cooling quickly, and the Cards feeling pretty smug about the final outcome, the first Indian flied out. But to open the door just a crack, Greg Grieves was hit by a pitch. Then leadoff man Vandermark, quiet all evening at the plate, drilled a single to centre. Then a passed ball. The winning run was now at second base. And up stepped Murray, with his earlier double and triple on everyone’s mind. Not exactly a patient hitter, Murray ripped the first pitch into the gap. Two runs scored, Indians won 6-5. The league takes the long weekend off, as many players head to Sointula for the annual tournament. KMRBL action resumes the following week at Highland Field.

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