Severna Park High’s baseball team had defeated its opponents with double-digit scoring in 10 of its 11 games, but on Monday at home the second-ranked and undefeated Falcons’ bats were somewhat silenced in a 4-0 victory over No. 15 Glen Burnie in an Anne Arundel County match.
The Falcons (12-0 overall, 5-0 Anne Arundel) were held to only five hits, but four of their hits came from their first three in the batting order and three were homers, including two by junior catcher Cody Phillips. It was more more than enough to support Nathan Murphy’s complete game four-hitter.
Murphy, a 6-foot-1 and 210-pound junior righthander, notched his third win (3-0) by holding much improved Glen Burnie to the four hits, striking out 11 and walking three in a 104-pitch complete game effort. Phillips belted his fourth and fifth homers of the season in the first and third innings while shortstop Angel Santiago-Cruz added a solo shot in the third and rightfielder Brooks Harris drove in a run on a fielder’s choice in the first inning.
Glen Burnie’s Brandon Brown pitched well in defeat, punching out five Falcons and walking four on 102 pitches before being removed with two outs in the sixth. The righthander kept the normally potent Falcons off balance by changing speeds and getting bis breaking pitches over the plate.
On the other side, Murphy was also getting his pitches over and at times throwing 83 to 86 mph over-powered the Gophers (9-4, 2-2 Anne Arundel) with his fast ball.
“Nathan has made quite a transition from last year as a sophomore by calming down and taking his time and throwing strikes,” said Falcons coach Eric Milton. “I’ve been very pleased with our pitching and of course our hitting and defense.”
Murphy, who along with junior righthander Sean Williams (4-0), forms one of the area’s best pitching duos, said afterwards that he normally used his two-seam fast ball, but went to his four seam more against the free-swinging Gophers.
“Today my four-seam was working better and I threw that more along with curve and change-up,”said Murphy. “My confidence and experience has really grown this season.”
Batterymate Phillips, who calls all the pitches, agrees and said that Murphy has been really consistent and their offense “gives our pitchers a lot of confidence they’re going to win by the leads we give them.This team has great chemistry, most of us have played and grown up together. "
Glen Burnie’s 10th-year coach Brian Kellner was the leadoff hitter and centerfielder on the Gophers’ 1999 squad that knocked off Perry Hall for the Class 4A state championship. The Gophers have been arguably one of the area’s biggest surprises so far this spring.
“I think last season when we went 12-9 helped this team grow,” Kellner, whose son, Dillon, patrols centerfield for Glen Burnie. “This team has great senior leadership and works hard. This might be the best team I have had. Right now our situational hitting has not been good and we’re working on that.”
NO. 2 SEVERNA PARK 4, NO. 15 GLEN BURNIE 0
Glen Burnie 000 000 0 - 0 4 0
Severna Park 202 000 x - 4 5 0
Brandon Brown, Russell Turner (6) and Joey Patera; Nathan Murphy and Cody Phillips
2B: Glen Burnie - Jaden Henson
HR: Severna Park - Cody Phillips (2), Angel Santiago- Cruz