Murphy’s extra-inning hit rallies Glasgow past rival Barren Co., 5-4
GLASGOW—Glasgow had come from behind to win in its previous two games against Franklin-Simpson and Green County, and the case was no different for the Scotties on the road at crosstown and 15th District rival Barren County on Tuesday night.
Despite committing seven errors and trailing 3-0 after four innings, the Scotties rallied to force extra innings before senior Griffin Murphy hit an RBI single in the top of the eighth to lift Glasgow to a 5-4 victory at Trojan Field.
“We’re learning how to be gritty and we’re learning how to keep competing and overcoming some poor play, and we certainly did that tonight,” Glasgow coach Sam Royse said. “We got just enough pitching, defense and offense to win the ballgame.”
Glasgow (4-0) trailed 3-0 entering the fifth inning before Ryan Jones cracked a double to right center to whittle the deficit down to 3-1 with no outs. Barren County ace Justin Combs—who finished with 10 strikeouts—then bore down and retired three Trojan batters in a row to leave Jones stranded at third.
The Trojans (1-3) were unable to tack on a run in the bottom of the fifth before the Scotties put runners at the corners with nobody out in the top of the sixth after Jaden Wells walked and Gavin Burd singled to right. Sophomore Tanner Abernathy then smacked a 2-RBI double to left but was called out stretching at third base to tie the game.
Barren County went back in front 4-3 in the bottom of the sixth when courtesy runner Jackson Mutter scored off a Glasgow error, giving the Trojans a chance to record their first victory over the Scotties at Trojan Field since 2011.
But Glasgow would keep the dominance of their rival in hostile territory going.
With two outs, Drake Poland hit a two-out single to shallow right field that scored Murphy and kept the Scotties alive. Barren County put runners at the corners in the bottom half of the inning, but Glasgow freshman Tyler Lane showed tremendous poise by striking out Merrik Coulter to send the game into extra innings—where Glasgow ultimately won the game on Murphy’s RBI single.
“I felt like when they tied the game up the wind kind of got sucked out of us,” Barren County coach J.R. Estes said. “We did go back up by one, but once they took the lead I feel like we shut down after that.”
Murphy delivered the devastating blow with two outs, ripping a ball to right field to plate Gavin Burd and propel the Scotties in front before the Trojans went down in order to end the game.
“Griff is a good and experienced hitter,” said Royse of Griffin’s capability in the clutch situation. “He doesn’t seem to mind or feel any pressure. He’s just going up there and doing the best that he can do, but he really barreled that one up and squared it up and hit it hard. It’s just nice to see that kind of thing happen.”
In the loss Barren County took strides hitting-wise by scoring four runs after scoring just one run against DeSales and being shut out by Greenwood, but the Trojans were unable to fully capitalize on their opportunities by leaving 11 runners stranded on base.
“We worked hard the past couple of days (in the batting cage),” Estes said. “We did a lot better. We bunted the ball well, we moved runners like we were supposed to, but…11 left on base. At the end of the night we just didn’t get a big hit when we needed it.”
Barren County struck quickly in the bottom of the first with a sacrifice fly by Luke Wells that scored Caleb Day, and the Trojans pushed their lead out to 3-0 in the bottom of the second when Taye Poynter and Mason Gillon both scored off an errant pickoff attempt.
The Trojans will look to return to the winning path with a home game versus Grayson County on Wednesday night—weather pending. Barren will continue its homestand with Clinton County on Thursday night before travelling to the Florida Beach Bash in Fort Walton next week.
“If we can get back to .500 before spring break we’ll be fine,” Estes said. “We’re really young and we’re soul-searching. But I think when these guys get a little gut and grit to them we’ll be fine.”
Meanwhile Glasgow has a 4-0 record for the first time since 2013, and Royse’s squad will look to keep things rolling at Adair County on Thursday night.
“We just have a lot of grit about us,” Royse said. “We’re willing to get in there and grind, and not pay attention to what the scoreboard says or how the previous pitch, at-bat or inning has gone. We’re just going to keep going out and grinding to make something happen.”