Aug. 10, 2012
Chestnut Hill, Mass. - Boston College sophomore Geoffrey Murphy took the summer off from the mound and found his bat on the Lake Norman Cooperheads in the Southern Collegiate Baseball League (SCBL).
After tallying a 3.19 ERA out of the pen for the Eagles, third-best on the team, Murphy picked up his bat while playing right field and first base for the Cooperheads (17-21). He was third on the team with a .333 batting average, tallied 28 hits, including 10 for extra bases and drove in 11.
Q: This summer, you are playing the infield instead of pitching. How do you like the switch? Do you think you will pitch when you come back to BC?
A: This summer has been a great experience allowing me to swing the bat again. Before college I was never utilized solely as a pitcher, so not having the opportunity to hit during the college season was a first for me. I have been given the opportunity to play both right field and first base this summer and have felt incredibly comfortable because of the work I put in during the season taking live reads in both the outfield and at first during batting practice. At the beginning of the summer, I injured my elbow and was unable to pitch; although this seemed like a major problem and setback, it gave me an opportunity to focus primarily on my hitting. With the time off, and my rehab work going well, I will be able to get back to school and be utilized as a pitcher and in any other capacity I am needed.
Q: You finished the season with a .333 batting clip. How do you account for being so successful at the plate after not hitting for a season?
A: I think the main reason I had success is my work ethic. During the season, I would always go out and hit with a few other guys and that kept me fresh as a hitter. Also sitting with Cheese [Tyler Hinchliffe] in the dugout and doing the hitting charts and talking with smart hitters like Melch [Anthony Melchionda] gave me a chance to become a smarter hitter. The beginning of the summer was an adjustment for me, between playing every day and seeing live arms, but I kept the same work ethic. I hit every off day and keep my swing feeling good. Being on a team with other hitters of a high caliber was also been extremely beneficial. I hit almost every off day with Logan Bible of Virginia Tech, Aaron Fossas of Wake Forest and Justin Manning of UNC-Wilmington. These guys have such a great eye for swings and we were always looking to help each other be successful.
Q: What was life like living in North Carolina for the summer? Were you living with a host family? Does it compare to your native Georgia?
A: Life in North Carolina was great. I lived with the Nimbletts and they were such an incredible host family. Getting the opportunity to stay in the south and play was so great. I was able to see my family a few times and it just feels more like home. I had always grown up braving the hot humid summers playing baseball, fishing and swimming in the lake, and this summer is no different being in close proximity to Lake Norman.
Q: What was the biggest challenge for you this summer?
A: The biggest challenge of the summer was really taking care of my body. Because I didn't play every day during the school year, I had to get re-acclimated with the demands and stresses of playing every day and the toll it can put on the body. Barring a small elbow injury, all I had to cope with was the occasional sore muscle here or there. At school we have the resources provided by [athletic trainer] Aaron Clark and the rest of our training staff and those are so helpful between receiving ice and other help. Instead of being able to walk to the training room, I have had to drive an hour a few times a week to go and rehab at Architect Sports. So the main difficulty was just making time to take care of myself.
Q: What's one of your favorite memories from your first year at Boston College?
A: I think it had to be Blake [Butera]'s walkoff hit against Georgia Tech that sealed a series win for us. It was a huge weekend and he came up big to deliver a single [with the bases loaded]. It was an incredible feeling to finish and win a game like that.
Q: What are you looking forward to in the 2012-13 baseball season at BC?
A: I'm looking forward to never missing the postseason again. With the guys we have returning and the freshmen coming in I know that we will be successful. With Nate Bayuk returning for his sixth year on the squad, he will bring a veteran attitude as someone who has seen great success at the college level and he will be able to show all the younger guys how to be successful. Also, getting Andrew Chin back on the knob this year will help us tremendously with our rotation, along with having other pitchers maturing. Eric Stevens is having a great summer in the Cape and having him, along with others, coming back with some confidence into the 2013 season will only help our cause in making it to an ACC tournament and hopefully beyond.