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Cobras Prevail Late After Early Pitching Duel From Greeney, Murphy

10/25/2017, 8:15am EDT
By Josh Belanger

October 25 - Max Greeney struck out seven over six scoreless innings and Bobby Leitzel provided the spark offensively with a two-run double in the sixth inning to lead the Virginia Cobras over the All In Eagles, 7-0, in a varsity matchup yesterday at Edison High School.

Greeney and Eagles’ starting pitcher Isaiah Murphy were locked in a pitcher’s duel for most of the night as both teams failed to come up with a hit with runners in scoring position. With two on and two out in the sixth, Leitzel broke through and yanked a line drive down the right field line to bring home two runs for the Cobras.

“We finally found some holes and if you keep hitting the ball hard, that’s eventually going to happen,” Cobras’ coach Will Whitty said.

“When Bobby hit that double, it gave me a lot of relief. I didn’t want to give up a run because we would have lost the game,” Greeney said. “When he hit that double, it gave everyone a lot of confidence and I wanted to go out and finish with the win.”

In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Eagles were able to get multiple baserunners on in the same inning for just the second time in the game. When Cobras' assistant coach Greg Delaney came out for a mound visit, Greeney petitioned to finish the inning and proceeded to do just that.

“You love a guy that fights to stay in the game and that’s why we left him for that last batter. He really wanted to finish the sixth inning,” Whitty said.

The Cobras would score four more runs in the seventh on five hits, including three consecutive run-scoring singles with two outs. After Greeney doubled, Jackson Shaw, Gabe Fulton, Lewis Frady and Max Jensen each followed with an RBI base hit. Frady then worked around a walk and error to shut the door in the seventh for the Cobras.  

Murphy allowed just three hits over four scoreless innings, which was his longest outing of the season for the Eagles. The tall right-hander allowed his height to work for him, driving downhill on the mound and locating his pitches below the knees.

“We made a few errors that cost us and didn’t hit the ball very well today but we are making strides,” Eagles’ coach Brien Edenhart said. “It was good to see some good pitching. [Murphy] has learned to bring the ball down and is holding runners on better. He’s really worked hard on that and is progressing well.”

Greeney worked at a blistering pace all night, which not only allowed the wiry right-hander to get into a rhythm, but had a noticeable affect on the Eagles in the box. He also showed the confidence to throw his slider in any situation, adding to the uneasiness at the plate for the Eagles.

“When I am confident and working quickly on the mound, batters are stepping out and are not ready for me to pitch and they don’t have time to think about what pitch I’m going to next,” Greeney said.

“His [slider] kept falling in the zone over and over again,” Edenhart said. “The quick work was definitely throwing us off.”

The Eagles got an extra base hit in the first inning from Michael Plunkett, who later advanced to third, but nothing much after that. The Eagles would not have another man reach third base the rest of the game and just two runners would get to second base.

The Cobras’ defense fed off Greeney’s quick pace by making a diving catch in shallow right field and turning two double plays to end the third and fourth innings.

“[Greeney ]worked quick in the game, which is what we like. It keeps our infielders engaged when pitchers are moving fast,” Whitty said.

The Eagles will wrap up their fall schedule against the Arlington Generals back at Edison on Saturday. The Cobras will play their final game this fall against the Potomac Cardinals next Tuesday at McLean High School.

Photo by Josh Belanger

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