Hobart’s Brandon Murray invited to U18 national trials
BY LaMond Pope 713-2691 or firstname.lastname@example.org June 24, 2013 11:22PM
Hobart's Brandon Murray pitches against Lowell in the sixth inning Tuesday afternoon at Lowell High School. | Jeffrey D. Nicholls~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 26, 2013 6:34AM
Brandon Murray has never been to Los Angeles. Or anywhere in California, for that matter.
The Hobart product’s first trip could lead to an opportunity to play baseball overseas.
Murray made the 40-man roster for USA Baseball’s U18 Team Trials. The trials take place in August in Los Angeles. The list will be trimmed to 20 players following the trials and that group will then represent the United States at the IBAF 18U World Cup Aug. 30-Sept. 8 in Taichung, Taiwan.
“It’s an honor,” Murray said during a phone interview Monday. “… It’s a really great opportunity.”
Murray’s selection came after he participated at the Tournament of Stars this past week in Cary, N.C. Murray was one of 144 players at event. He pitched on Thursday and Sunday.
The 40-player roster was announced during the closing ceremonies.
“You went on the field for a little ceremony and they announced it in front of all the parents and hosts families and people that were attending the games. It was nice. It was really exciting,” said Murray, who went 4-3 with a 2.51 ERA as a junior for the Brickies this season. The South Carolina recruit stuck out 111 batters, breaking the school’s single-season mark he set as a sophomore. He also holds the school’s career strikeout record.
“I’m really excited because you get an opportunity to play for your country and try and bring home a gold medal.”
The 40-man list includes several players from Florida, California and Texas. Murray is the only player from Indiana.
“It’s a great feeling to be able to say to my coaches, all the guys I’ve worked with, my friends and family, everyone who has been a part of where I’ve gotten to today, to say thank you for helping me get to where I’m at. All the hard work is paying off,” Murray said.
“… There’s a lot of talent in the South and West Coast, but up here in Indiana, we can still play ball. Who puts in the most work is going to succeed, and that’s what matters.”