By Meredith Perri/Field Reporter
For the rest of the season, the 2013 Media Team will bring you a daily feature about each player on the Falmouth Commodores. To start our series, we will take a look at Donny Murray from the College of the Holy Cross.
You see them at every game. Some group into clusters; others stand alone. They wait for the perfect moment when a foul ball leaves the diamond before they run, hoping to pick up a piece of a future Major Leaguers’ history. They gaze in awe as baseball players from colleges across the country sign autographs.
As children spending some of their summer days at Arnie Allen Diamond, they begin to learn about baseball.
A snapshot from the mid-1990s of this daily routine might reveal a familiar face sitting in the bleachers or standing by the fence. Some 18 years later, Donny Murray no longer watches the game from outside the diamond. Instead, the rising junior at the College of the Holy Cross finds the entire game revolving around him when he takes the mound in relief for the Falmouth Commodores.
“That was my goal coming out of high school – to play in the Cape after my sophomore year of college,” Murray said. “To be able to play in Falmouth is just awesome, but the Cape in general is kind of what my hope and dream was.”
Murray, whose grandmother is from Falmouth, has watched the Commodores play every summer since he was just two years old as his family has always rented houses in the area.
After a spring in which he went 7-3 in 14 appearances with a 4.33 ERA and was named to the Patriot League All-Tournament team, Murray headed out to the town in which he spent many of his summer days growing up. The righty, however, did not have a guarantee that he would spend his entire summer donning the maroon pinstripes of the Commodores.
Murray had signed a temporary contract, which was good for the first two weeks of the season. After having pitched seven innings of relief and giving up four earned runs while striking out six, the Commodores offered Murray a full contract.
“I was really excited about it,” Murray said. “You try not to think about [the temporary contract] while we’re pitching, going through the first few weeks, but it’s always in the back of your mind.
“Just to get it off my mind felt good, and now I’ll be here all summer. It’s really exciting.”
Since signing the full contract, Murray’s numbers have only gotten better. In seven outings this season, the 6-foot-2 reliever has a 3.21 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 14 innings pitched.
One of his more dominant performances came in the Commodores loss to the Harwich Mariners on July 5, where Murray pitched four innings of relief and was the only Falmouth pitcher to not give up a run. He had three strikeouts in that appearance.
Murray said he has had a great experience on the Cape so far and that he has really enjoyed the atmosphere. For the only Massachusetts native on the Commodores roster, however, Murray’s time spent on the mound in Falmouth comes with a bit of a different meaning.
“This is the league I grew up watching,” Murray said. “It’s just like the Red Sox.”