Even with all the stats, even after all of the hits and outstanding innings on the mound, Ben Murphy still struggles to grasp this summer.
“Going back to where I was a few years ago,” said Murphy. “Going back to getting cut, I really can’t picture myself where I am now. It has been one amazing summer.”
Cut from the JV baseball team just two years ago, a JV player as a junior and strictly a pitcher for Andover High this season, Murphy has emerged as the top hitter and a go-to pitcher for the Andover Legion team this season.
“He’s been more than a surprise,” said Post 8 coach Joe Iarrobino. “He wasn’t on the club this season, but this year he has done so much. He is willing to do anything asked from him and he wants the baseball.”
Heading into the week, Murphy was hitting a team-high .396, while striking out 31 with a 0.35 ERA in 19 2/3 innings on the hill.
“I had a great time during the high school season,” said Murphy. “But once I got to the Legion team everything kind of just came together. It has really been great.”
Murphy could never have anticipated this emergence in the spring of 2010, when he was cut from the JV team and was encouraged to move on from baseball.
“It was really tough to get cut,” he said. “My parents really wanted me to do something else, like join the volleyball team. But I couldn’t see myself going away from baseball.”
Instead, he became the manager for the JV team, and continued to work on his skills. A year later, he earned a spot on the JV team, and began to find some success.
But Murphy felt like far from a lock to make the varsity team this spring.