Murphy trades baseball for basic training

SIDELINES

September 25, 1994|By PAT O'MALLEY

Discipline is a quality that came naturally to Kevin Charles Murphy as a high school and junior college athlete. Adjusting to the U.S. Marine Corps should be a natural for Murphy.

Murphy, known as "K.C." while playing second base for Northeast High on back-to-back state baseball champions and then playing two years for Anne Arundel Community College, leaves for basic training at Paris Island, S.C., on Oct. 3.

"I was fixing to go to Bowie State College and play baseball, but my scholarship offer kind of fell through, so I'm off to the Marines," said the 21-year-old Pasadena resident.

"I've always had a fixation for the Marines because my brother is still in the Corps and my sister was a Marine before becoming a CIA agent. I'm going to continue my education and eventually join the military police."

K.C. has put the dream of playing pro baseball behind him and is pushing ahead. He takes a lot of fond memories with him.

Murphy, 5 feet 11, 175 pounds, hit .419 with 29 RBIs for the 1991 Northeast team.

"It was a special team, no question about it," said Murphy of the '91 Eagles, who were Maryland's first public school team to go 24-0 in winning the state 2A title.

That team featured coach Harry Lentz as The Baltimore Sun Baseball Coach of the Year and outfielder/pitcher Craig Everett as the Player of the Year. The team was honored with a national championship by Easton Sports in the Collegiate Baseball publication.

Murphy, a hard-nosed player who never quit, became one of the leaders on the 1992 Eagles (18-5) that pulled off a repeat state 2A championship with a 7-6 victory over Walkersville of Frederick. He batted .400 with 24 RBIs in his senior year and closed his career with only three errors, which is believed to be a county record for infielders.

"I'm pretty proud of that because it shows consistency, doing the job," said Murphy.

Murphy continued to do the job at AACC the next two seasons, hitting .300 for the Pioneers in 1993. He was hitting .400 this past spring before a knee injury set him back.

"A guy took me out on a double play and banged my knee up pretty good," said Murphy, who was out for eight games and tailed off to a final average of .365.

"The knee injury cut my speed considerably and I never really got it going with the bat the rest of the way."

Murphy started two years for coach Clayton Jacobson at AACC and played a major part in the Pioneers' finishing runner-up in the region playoffs both seasons.

Knights leftovers

Now that three cross country runner from Calvert Hall came in first, arm in arm -- they waited for each other -- in the North County Knights Invite at Baybrook Park on Thursday saying that "it had never been done before," what's next, runners coming in backward?

You old-timers might remember Jackie Brandt of the Orioles circling the bases backward after hitting a homer at Memorial Stadium.

The Calvert Hall trio -- Jonathan Dietrich, Cory Smith and Doug Stewart -- threatened to do it again, and county cross country fans can catch their act on Saturday at Annapolis High in the Anne Arundel County Invitational.

The winning time for the innovative Cardinal trio was 16 minutes, 5.1 seconds under rainy and windy conditions, nearly 10 seconds better than the first-place time of Arundel's Geoff Warren (16:14) at last year's meet, run on a beautiful day.

The expected neck-and-neck race between Kristen Nicolini of Annapolis and Perry Hall's Krissy Jost didn't come off. Jost was away on a college visit and Nicolini cruised to victory at 18:39, nearly a minute ahead of the runner-up.

North County coach Ed Harte deserves a salute for pulling off the invitational under adverse weather.

No. 200 for Gregg

A 3-2 win over Arundel on Tuesday gave Severna Park boys soccer coach Don Gregg his 200th career win in his 21st season as coach of the Falcons. Win No. 100 had come on Oct. 2, 1984.

Gregg is only the fourth boys soccer coach at Severna Park, and the Falcons had only one winning season in its first five seasons before he took over.

Leo Bridgeland started the team in 1969 as a club team and junior varsity, going 3-3, and Don Leonard (15-12-3 in three seasons) coached the first varsity season in 1970 and the first winner (9-4) in 1972.

Longtime baseball coach Jim Pitt replaced Leonard on an interim basis in 1973, going 2-7. Gregg suffered through two losing seasons, in 1974 (5-7) and 1975 (4-7-1), before ringing up his first winner in 1976 at 8-5.

Gregg hasn't had a losing season since those first two years, racking up 11 county and nine region titles and tying for a state championship with Bowie in 1983. The Falcons went 14-0-2 that year with eight shutouts.

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