Murphy delivers in Arizona |

Murphy delivers in Arizona

Submitted photoFormer Truckee High pitcher J.R. Murphy

Former Truckee High pitcher J.R. Murphy is disappointed with his nationally ranked Yavapai Roughriders’ quick exit from the playoffs this year. But he’s not at all critical of his personal performance during his freshmen season at the Arizona junior college.

That’s because after earning a spot in the starting rotation early in the season from the bullpen, Murphy proceeded to dominate hitters as if he were still a Wolverine.

“He turned into a guy we really relied on in the starting rotation,” said Jeff Casper, Yavapai College pitching coach. “We’re looking for him to be the ace of the staff next year.”

When asked if Murphy was the ace of the staff this year, Casper said, “He probably was.”

Either way, Murphy posted impressive numbers with the No. 10-ranked junior college team in the nation.

Murphy, in 49 and one-third innings and seven starts, had a 6-0 record with one save and two complete games. His earned run average, at 1.83, ranked No. 12 in the nation. Murphy allowed 32 hits and 10 earned runs while striking out 44 and walking 18, and opposing batters only managed a .186 average against him.

The right-hander’s standout numbers must have caught the eyes of Major League scouts, as Murphy recently has received letters from the Giants, Rangers, Indians and Blue Jays.

“It’s a good possibility that I’ll be drafted,” Murphy said Monday night. “I’m pretty sure I will, but I’m definitely coming back to play my sophomore year, for sure.”

Murphy said he wants to earn an AA degree so that he can get at least half of his education done. Plus, if he waits, he’ll probably be a higher pick and get more money.

If that scenario comes to fruition, his ’92 Jeep Cherokee, which is in the shop and is in need of “a lot of money,” won’t be as much of a burden. As of now, it’s not only a burden but it has hampered his summer plans of playing ball in a competitive league in Minnesota. As an alternative plan, Murphy said he will get a job this summer in the Truckee-Reno and play ball with a team in Reno.

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