Deadly Duo: Chris Murphy, Jim McDade honored with awards

Ryan Woerner
Sports Editor

They say pitching wins championships. While analysts and broadcasters have debated this adage millions of times over, by looking at the Marauders 33-9 record, you can’t debate that pitching wins games. Lately, the pitching combination of Chris Murphy and Jim McDade has been almost unhittable.

This week, two Marauder pitchers were honored for their performance on the mound. Redshirt junior Jim McDade was named the National College Baseball Writers of America (NCBWA) Atlantic Region pitcher of the week and the PSAC East pitcher of the week following his one hit shutout win over Kutztown on Saturday.

McDade was nearly untouchable against the Golden Bears, facing the minimum through his seven-inning complete game. His only blemish came in the form of a single off the bat of Kutztown first basemen Matthew Armourm, who was promptly retired on a double play two pitches later. When all was said and done, McDade struck out six and walked zero in his seven innings, needing only 76 pitches to complete the game.

Murphy is one of 32 finalists for the Brett Tomko award. (Photo courtesy MU Athletics)
Murphy is one of 32 finalists for the Brett Tomko award.
(Photo courtesy MU Athletics)

This was the second time that McDade has been given the award through the NCBWA this season, placing his name on the list for the national ballot. The two weekly awards come on the heels of another quality start by McDade when he threw 6.2 innings, striking out five and allowing just three earned runs on April 12 against Ship.

When it comes to throwing baseballs, Chris Murphy is rarely outdone. The senior was named one of the finalists for the Brett Tomko Award, given to the best pitcher in Division II baseball. Murphy has improved in each of his three years with the Mararauders, his ERA dropping from 2.29 in 2013 to 1.94 last year. It currently sits at 1.43 this season, which looks nice next to his 9-0 record.

The nomination is hardly the first for Murphy. He is a back-to-back PSAC East Pitcher of the Year, taking home the award each of the past two years. A third may be on the horizon, as he leads the PSAC East in both wins and is second in ERA. In addition to the potential for a few conference awards, Murphy also has some school records within his grasp. He is just 16 strikeouts away from all-time Millersville leader Matt Wagner’s 235. His 30 wins and 17 complete games are already school records.

McDade was recently named NCBWA Atlantic Region Pitcher of the Week and PSAC East  Pitcher of the week.  (Photo courtesy MU Athletics)
McDade was recently named NCBWA Atlantic Region Pitcher of the Week and PSAC East Pitcher of the week.
(Photo courtesy MU Athletics)

Speaking of championships, the Marauders will get their first shot at postseason accolades on April 29 with the start of the PSAC championship. The NCAA Atlantic Regional playoffs start May 14, and the NCAA Division II championship starts May 23. The winner of the Brett Tomko Award will be announced on June 1, following the end of the DII championship.

As the regular season comes to a close, the Marauders will rely on good starts from the team of Murphy, Brandon Miller and McDade to power the team through the playoffs. All three have been pitching well as of late, giving the impression that the Marauders may find success in the postseason this year.
If you need more evidence, consider this: Sunday, April 5 marked the one year anniversary of Chris Murphy’s last loss. Hopefully the streak will continue for the foreseeable future.