Lefty was 20-game winner and led DIII in victories as a junior All-America
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - A left-handed pitcher who rose from the sub-varsity to stardom in two short years in the Eastern Connecticut State University baseball program, Brian Murphy has been selected for induction into the University's E-Club Hall of Fame. The announcement was made by committee co-chairmen Dr. David G. Yeo and Scott Smith.
After pitching exclusively on the sub-varsity level as a freshman in 1976 and seeing limited varsity action as a sophomore, Murphy developed into the team's stopper in his final two seasons. In his junior and senior seasons, the North Grosvenor Dale native and 1975 Tourtellotte Memorial High School graduate, won 20 of 25 decisions with 2.09 ERA in 176 2/3 innings, completed 14 of his 24 starts, and won all three of his decisions in NCAA regional tournament competition.
The 16th E-Club Hall of Fame Ceremony and Social Hour is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 25 at noon at the Betty R. Tipton Room in the Student Center. Tickets are priced at $45 and must be reserved in advance by contacting Dr. David G. Yeo at 860-465-5166 or at firstname.lastname@example.org or Scott Smith at 860-465-4326 or at email@example.com.
In 39 career outings over three seasons, Murphy was 24-8 with three saves and a 2.62 ERA in 209 2/3 innings. He completed more than half (15) of his 29 career starts with four shutouts, 178 strikeouts, and 81 walks.
As a junior in 1978, Murphy led Division III with 12 victories and New England Division III with a 1.61 ERA (11th nationally) on the way to third-team All-America accolades. In winning one-third of the team's 36 games that season (the winningest regular season to that point in program history), Murphy lost only two, completed seven of his 13 starts with three shutouts, and fashioned a 3-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 95 1/3 innings. His innings pitched that season ranked second among the top 15 winningest pitchers in Division III and his strikeouts trailed the national leader by only eight.
Voted the team's Best Pitcher twice and its MVP once, Murphy had an 18-2 career record
Up north in the regular season, In his career, he was 11-2 against Division III opponents, both losses coming during his first varsity season in 1977.
As a junior and senior, Murphy started the team's season and regional tournament openers and completed 14 of his 24 starts. He pitched a complete-game six-hitter in a 4-3 win that opened the 1978 regional tournament opener against Pace University. In 1979, he tossed a complete-game four-hitter in a 3-2 victory over Westfield State, then came back in relief the next day to gain a 4-2 win over Ithaca College in the losers' bracket final, allowing one hit in two innings.
In a five-game stretch midway through his 1978 All-America season, Murphy gave up only one earned run and ten hits in a stretch of 30 innings, fanning 44 and walking only ten and winning all four of his decisions. Murphy pitched a seven-inning, one-hit shutout over Rhode Island College in the second game of that span, fanning a career-high 12.
Murphy won the final six decisions of his career and repeated All-New England honors, earning a spot on the second team in his senior season. Following a 2-3 start which included losses to Division I East Carolina and Virginia Tech on the team's season-opening southern trip, Murphy did not lose after April 8, with a complete-game 9-1 victory at Division II power University of New Haven among his top regular-season accomplishments that season. He finished a remarkable seven of his 11 starts that year.
Murphy won nearly one-quarter of Eastern's 102 games in his three-year varsity career and led the Warriors to three NCAA Division III tournaments and an overall winning percentage of .739.
Thirty years after graduation, Murphy still ranks among the all-time Top 10 in wins (8th),
complete games (3rd) and shutouts (tied for 6th). Among pitchers with at least 100 career innings, Murphy currently ranks tenth all-time by averaging 10.22 hits and walks per nine innings. He was the program's winningest left-handed pitcher at the time of his graduation, and ranked third behind only Hall of Fame righties John Caneira and Steve Thomas in most career categories at the time of graduation.
Following his senior year, Murphy was drafted in the 23rd round of the 1979 First-Year Player draft by the New York Yankees. At the rookie level, he was 5-0 with seven saves and a 2.58 ERA and spent the next year rooming with Hall of Famer Don Mattingly at Class A Greensboro, NC.
Following his release from professional baseball in 1981, Murphy was hired by the Department of Corrections. In 2003, he was appointed Deputy Commissioner of Operations and currently serves as Interim Commissioner.
Previously announced as 2009 Hall of Fame selections were New London native Tammy Schondelmayer, Rutland, VT native Jeff Brewer and Trumbull native Terry Hinesley.
Schondelmayer was a four-year softball starter at shortstop between 1986 and 1989 who played on four straight regional championship teams, including the 1986 national championship club as a freshman; Brewer was a three-year baseball pitcher between 1981 and 1983 who won 28 games and saved eight and helped Eastern to the 1982 NCAA Division III national championship; and Hinesley was the starting men's soccer goalkeeper when the Warriors posted 27 shutouts in a three-year stretch between 1984 and 1986.
Since its establishment in 1986, the Eastern/E-Club Hall of Fame has enshrined a total of 85 former athletes, coaches and administrators and has also recognized the contributions of 13 "friends" with the Michael A. Atkind Exceptional Service Award and has honored 20 individuals as "Pioneers" for their efforts in helping to establish the tradition of the Eastern athletic program.