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Murray Blanks Greenwood in Kentucky Tournament of Champions Finale | Gators

Murray High pitcher John Loller used a strong night on the mound to lead the Tigers to a five-inning mercy rule game against visiting Greenwood High School in the last game of the Kentucky Tournament of Champions.

Loller opened the game with a strikeout, and gave up his only hit of the night on a single in the top of the first inning before finishing the game with five strikeouts through four innings of work, with one walk.

“John gets ahead,” Murray head coach Mike Johnson said.  “He limits his pitch count, makes them put the ball in play early with his fastball.  You look up and it’s the third inning and he’s thrown 25 pitches.”

Murray started with an RBI from Loller in the first to make it 1-0 in favor of the Tigers.  Austin Adams and Carver Lawson each scored on back-to-back bases-loaded walks to make the score 3-0 through two, then the Tigers opened the floodgates and scored five runs in the third.

Aaron Wilson started things off in the inning, and Grant McDonald hit an RBI single to right field to bring around Adams and Loller was walked to bring in Dustin Bevil.  McDonald and Zach Grogan scored the seventh and eighth runs for the Tigers, as they continued the domination.

The Gators couldn’t get anything going offensively, as they finally reached first on Loller’s only walk of the night in the fourth inning, but Murray answered defensively with an out at second and a strikeout before catcher John Ramey connected with shortstop Sawyer Lawson to pick off Jake Riley trying to steal second.

Murray added two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to enact the potential mercy rule, and Adams went to the mound in his relief to strike out all three batters to end the inning and the game, 10-0.

“We just wanted to get him out there on the mound to get an inning in and it worked out perfectly,” Johnson said.  “John limited his pitches, so when we go on spring break we will have everyone available Tuesday.  That’s what we want…so when we come back next week we’re ready for the All-A”

The Tigers will head to Alabama this week to play four games in four days.

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