- Scott Barboza, ESPN Staff Writer
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DORCHESTER, Mass. -- It was far from a perfect outing for BC High’s Donny Murray.
But it was hard for the Eagles starter to be much better while hurling a complete-game shutout against No. 5 seed Catholic Memorial in the teams’ Division 1 South quarterfinal Monday at BC High. The Knights banged out 10 hits against Murray, but they were unable to get on the scoreboard in a 3-0 Eagles’ win.
With several superb defensive plays in the field behind Murray and a couple clutch hits from the bottom of BC High’s lineup against CM ace John Gorman, the fourth-seed Eagles (16-6) claimed their third win of the season over their Catholic Conference rivals.
“Goreman’s a good pitcher and we knew it wasn’t going to be a blowout,” BC High center fielder Jack Buckley said. “We knew it wasn’t going to be a slugfest.”
Murray wiggled out of jams in both the first and second innings with a pair of deft double plays started by second baseman Chuckie Connors and shortstop Ryan Tufts.
With two on and one out in the first, Tufts made a diving stop to his left, snaring a hot shot off of Knights third baseman Matt Goreham’s bat. Tufts lunged to tag second base with his foot while firing to first in time to get Goreham and end the inning.
In the top of the second, Murray found himself in the same situation as the first. That’s when Connors started his inning-ending twin-killing by ranging to his right and grabbing a bounding ball off the bat of Paul Fahey. Connors planted off the second base bag and threw across his body to get Fahey in a close play.
“That got me going,” Murray said. “Not coming out here with my best stuff today, it was great to know I had a great defense behind me to help me through it in both innings. Chuckie [Connors] and Ryan [Tufts] made those plays and it was huge for us, huge for the team.”
The 6-foot-1 right-hander hadn’t toed the rubber since his last start, which was on May 24 against Xaverian.
Murray struck out six and walked one while throwing 122 pitches with 86 for strikes in nine innings.
“I think what hurt Donny [Murray] early was the long layoff from his last start,” Eagles head coach Norm Walsh said. “He wasn’t spotting the ball as well then. But in the later innings, he was really hitting his locations and they really weren’t making good contact at all.”
BC High got all the offense it would need in a two-run fifth. The bottom of the Eagles’ lineup came through in a big way with No. 8 hitter Buckley and Chris Casey, from the nine-hole, delivering run-scoring hits.
Buckley drilled Gorman’s 2-1 offering to shortstop. The ball bit the lip of the infield grass and exploded over the head of Knights shortstop Shane O’Leary, who could only look back in disbelief as the ball made its way into the outfield with scoring Bartley Regan from second.
Casey, the Eagles’ first baseman, followed with a resounding double to left-center with Buckley scoring all the way from first.
BC High added an insurance run in the eighth when Casey scored on a balk.
Taking a hard-luck loss, the book closed on Gorman’s illustrious high school career. The CM right-hander who’s headed to Boston College next year allowed two earned runs on four hits in eight innings while striking out seven.
The Knights end their season at 15-7 while the Eagles advance to play Franklin in the semifinals, Wednesday at 4 p.m. at Braintree High School.