06/27/2015 4:04 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – June 27, 2015 – In baseball, there’s nothing quite like a significant, mid-season acquisition to put a contending team in better position for a deep playoff run.
While such moves are commonplace in Major League Baseball, midseason additions are much harder to come by in summer collegiate leagues. With poor weather in June stacking July with Midwest Collegiate League games, every manager in the league is left searching for additional pitching depth.
Adam Enright has answered any potential Oilmen concerns in a big way, bolstering his staff with South Carolina right-handed pitcher Brandon Murray. Murray went 5-0 with a 4.36 ERA in 20 appearances out of the Gamecocks bullpen.
South Carolina, a member of the SEC, plays its home games at Carolina Stadium, which was recently named the top college baseball park in the country for the 2015 season.
“When you’re coming straight out of high school, it blows you away at first,” Murray said. “It’s a very prestigious program. It’s a great coaching staff. Some big-time players have come through there. Our facilities are second-to-none. I appreciate the opportunities that we’re given to put on a jersey and play there in front of 8,000 fans every game and play teams like Texas A&M and LSU, the top two teams in the country.”
Murray pitched against Dansby Swanson (Vanderbilt) and Alex Bregman (LSU) – the top two picks in this year’s Major League Baseball Draft – this season.
The 2014 Hobart High School graduate was shut down by South Carolina for a little over a month immediately following the season because of a strenuous spring filled with a lot of getting up and down in the bullpen. He started throwing a week ago, and plans to be ready for Midwest Collegiate League action in a week to 10 days.
Playing with the Oilmen provides Murray with the chance to stay home for the remainder of the summer.
“I know some of the guys on the team, so it’s a comfortable situation for me to go out there and get some work in,” Murray said. “A couple of people had already referred me to them and I talked to the coaches a few times. I’m happy to get out there and get a couple starts in; and I’m ready to get going.”
Murray will be on a strict pitch count limit that will climb with each Oilmen outing.
“I’m going to have the most emphasis on establishing my fastball early in the count,” he said. “Even when I’m behind in the count, I need to be able to execute my changeup, slider and curveball. I’m going to work on being able to elevate when I’m ahead in the count and change eye levels.”
Murray was selected out of high school in the 30th round of the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies. He becomes the second drafted player to play for the Oilmen, joining Larry Crisler from the 2014 team.