Tahoe Twins: J.R. Murphy dominates in home rout

Sylas Wright
Sierra Sun

TAHOE VISTA and#8212; J.R. Murphy bewildered hitters with a live fastball and tight breaking pitch, and his Tahoe Twins struck early and often en route a 13-2 win over the Fallon Black Sox on Sunday.

and#8220;J.R. was impressive,and#8221; said Tahoe Twins manager Bob Habeger of Carnelian Bay, whose team improved to 3-0 in the Western Nevada chapter of the National Adult Baseball Association. and#8220;He threw four lights-out innings, and that really gave us momentum. And our offense was awesome.and#8221;

As the Twins’ offense went to work, banging out four runs in the first inning, two in the second and four more in the third to chase Black Sox starter David Ranson from the game, Murphy dazzled the sizable home crowd at North Tahoe Regional Park.

In four quick innings, the 6-3 right-hander and 2004 Truckee High grad allowed just one hit while striking out 10. He carried a perfect game into the third before Fallon’s Brett Workman broke up the no-hitter with a two-out single.

and#8220;Tahoe has a really solid team,and#8221; said Black Sox player-manager Bobby Amos. and#8220;We kind of heard they had a good all-around offense and defense, so we went up there with that knowledge. And they came out hot right away. Everyone on that team can hit.

and#8220;And their starting pitcher was great … we’re not used to seeing someone throw that hard.and#8221;

Franklin Orlando took over for Murphy with a 12-0 lead to start the fifth, when the Black Sox scored their two runs on back-to-back doubles by Sparky Lively and Brett Wickizer. Orlando, a 2006 North Tahoe grad, settled in to throw a scoreless sixth and seventh, and Twins left-hander Drew Lipnosky held Fallon hitless the final two innings to close the game.

Offensively, Jesse Brown led the Twins with a 3-for-4 day at the plate with two doubles, a triple, four RBIs and two runs scored. Six others contributed RBIs, with Jamy Habeger going 2 for 4 with a double, run and RBI and Joe Thomas and Murphy driving in two runs apiece.

Black Sox pitcher Jake Morford, who relieved Ranson trailing 9-0 with no outs in the third, limited the Twins to three runs on seven hits and four walks in six innings. The Lassen Community College pitcher recorded seven strikeouts, most of which came on a speedy fastball.

and#8220;He was focused,and#8221; said Fallon player-coach Ron Wenger, who also was impressed with Murphy’s outing. and#8220;J.R. throws some heat,and#8221; he said. and#8220;He’s a good pitcher.and#8221;

After setting the NIAA single-season strikeout record in 2004 and#8212; a number that stands at 139 and#8212; Murphy earned National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) All-America honors at Yavapai (Ariz.) College before transferring to San Diego State University. He played last year for the Colorado Rockies’ Short-Season Class-A affiliate.

Murphy isn’t the only Twins player to boast college experience, as the Tahoe team is loaded with 13 current or former college players. Nine of the players from North Tahoe and Truckee high schools used to play for coach Habeger on his three-time state champ Senior Babe Ruth team, also called the Twins.

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