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A.J. Murray (Georgia Tech) doesn’t like to talk about himself. He deflects compliments to his teammates with regularity. He is currently knee deep in one of the most impressive stretches of the Cape League season, but explaining it in hyperboles would, in Murray’s eyes, be something of an overstatement.
“I’m just hitting the ball where they aren’t I guess,” Murray said after reaching base in all five of his at-bats in a 7-2 win over Cotuit on Wednesday. “That’s all it is.”
Murray’s amid an eight-game hit streak but that figure doesn’t do his recent play any justice. In those eight games, Murray is 18-for-30 with three doubles, three home runs, 13 RBIs and eight runs scored. He opened the Anglers recent win over Cotuit with a two-run home run in the first, and will look to continue kickstarting the Chatham (9-9-1) lineup when it hosts Orleans (11-8) at Veterans Field at 7 p.m. Thursday. Zac Gallen (North Carolina) will make his third start of the season for the Anglers, and Brett Lilek is expected to take the mound for the Firebirds.
When Murray stepped up to the plate in the first inning against the Kettleers two of his teammates — Chris Shaw (Boston College) and Landon Lassiter (North Carolina) — were chatting about the first baseman in the dugout. His quiet demeanor doesn’t prompt intimidation, but his bat has started to. Shaw and Lassiter, who have been hitting either right in front or right behind Murray in the order most nights, have seen it first hand.
“It’s starting to get scary,” said Shaw, who also homered against Cotuit. “He’s going up there with bad intentions right now and just crushing the ball every at-bat. He must just be seeing it.”
After Wednesday, Murray is now tied for the league lead with four home runs. Additionally, his .347 batting average is sixth in the league, and .596 slugging percentage, 26 hits and 17 RBIs are good for second. His RBI total would be a clearcut first, but Brewster’s Wade Wass has 18 after hitting two grand slams en route to a 9-RBI night against Wareham on Wednesday.
That’s where Murray currently stands and he’s showed no signs of slowing down. As for hinting at his recent surge off the field, his interest in his team continues to overpower his interest in himself.
Said Murray: “I feel good at the plate but not too different. I am just glad we can get wins.”
Broadcast coverage of the Anglers and Firebirds begins at 6:40 p.m. with the Anglers Extra Pregame Show. Watch and listen on TRZ Teamline or listen by phone 1-800-846-4700, code 3481. Visit Broadcast Central for more information.