By Lori Brown
GRAHAMSVILLE Avid baseball fans know just how special and rare it is when a pitcher records a perfect game.
Thursday afternoon’s non-league game between the Chapel Field Lions and the Tri-Valley Bears at the City Field in Grahamsville featured one of those outstanding performances.
T-V senior Bo Murphy pitched a perfect game as the Bears defeated Chapel Field, 5-0.
“I think our team played great,” Murphy said. “We had to come back from a bad loss [to Livingston Manor]. The team stepped it up. We have a great, smooth infield and the outfield did great, too.
“My arm felt good today,” he continued. “I was throwing curveballs and changeups. Tim Martin, my catcher, called an excellent game and is really trying to fill the shoes of Fred Moore [who graduated last year]. We were thinking the same things and found what was really working. My team worked really well behind me today.”
T-V’s Jesse Brown singled to score teammate Andrew Yager with the first run of the contest in the bottom of the second.
After a scoreless third, the Bears added to their lead. With one out, Charlie Edwards, Brandon Edwards and Brown all singled to load the bases. Moments later, Dan Byrne walked, which allowed Charlie Edwards to score.
Martin gave the Bears a 3-0 lead with an RBI single that enabled Brandon Edwards to cross home plate. Brown scored on a sacrifice fly by Brendan Musa.
T-V (2-5) scored its final run in the bottom of the fifth when Yager scored on a groundout by Brandon Edwards.
“Bo Murphy pitched a perfect game with no walks and no hits and my team had no errors,” T-V Coach John Rusin said. “This was a special day.
“Today we executed and worked hard to be competitive against almost anyone,” Rusin added. “During the previous game versus Livingston Manor they took advantage of us.”
Rusin said that his team “got the bad games done early on in the season.
“This is the first year we went to South Carolina to be involved in a [preseason] tournament,” he commented. “We went down there and we faced big teams. It reinforced some good points.
“We had a good performance against Fallsburg [this week],” “We are doing the little things well.”
Although the Bears lost six seniors to graduation last June, Rusin is very optimistic about this year’s squad.
“My team has great kids and they work hard,” he said. “They love baseball and are improving everyday.”
Rusin noted that this week his team has an Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division V three-game series with Tuxedo, which won the Section IX Class C title last year.
“Bo Murphy did a great job and he earned all the strikeouts he got as I kept all my nine starters in the game,” Chapel Field Coach Joe Canazon (who originally hailed from Sullivan County himself) said.
“Hitting is a problem, as we only had three hits against [James I.] O’Neill and Marlboro,” he said. “But today we hit fly balls and grounders.”
Chapel Field fell to 0-3 this season.
“This year we have a tough schedule and we face bigger schools,” Canazon said. “I thought we were getting a little better, but today we took a step back.”