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Murray goes the distance again as Red Bay wraps up playoff berth

Hayden Murray threw his third straight complete game (all in area play) on Friday afternoon as Red Bay clinched a playoff spot with a 4-1 win at Sulligent.

The Tigers (15-10 overall) finished tied for second with Lamar County at 3-3 in the final Class 2A, Area 14 standings. Red Bay, which beat the Bulldogs 11-0 behind a no-hitter from Kolby Bragwell in a tiebreaker game Thursday in Vernon, earned the No. 2 seed and will travel to face Area 15 champion Section in a best-of-three first-round series this coming weekend.

Murray (7-2) continued his late-season roll on Friday, scattering nine hits in his fifth complete game of the year. The senior righthander has gone the distance in each of his last three starts, one against Lamar County and two against Sulligent. He was super-efficient on Friday, throwing 57 of his 79 pitches for strikes and starting 19 of the 28 batters he faced with a first-pitch strike. Murray struck out just one batter but also walked only one.

The Tigers took the lead with a two-out rally in the top of the third. Alex Burroughs walked, moved up on a base hit by Skylar Brazil and scored on Kolby Bragwell's RBI single to make it 1-0. A single by Murray loaded the bases, and Chase Allen drew a walk to force home another run.

Red Bay added to the lead in the top of the fifth. Murray singled, and courtesy runner Cade McKinney stole second and eventually scored on a groundout by Kaleb Bragwell.

Sulligent got its only run off Murray in the bottom of the fifth, but the Tigers got that run back in the top of the sixth. Burroughs and Brazil walked to start the inning, but Burroughs was thrown out on a base hit by Kolby Bragwell. Murray followed with a single, and Allen drew his second bases-loaded walk of the day to make it 4-1.

In addition to his good work on the mound, Murray finished 3-for-4. Kolby Bragwell was 2-for-4 with an RBI, and Burroughs was 1-for-2 with three walks and a run scored. Brazil went 1-for-2, walked twice and scored twice. Luke Rooker had a hit, and Colbie King stole two bases.

 

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