Deerfield's Austin Murphy, left, and Weston King led the Knights to a Game 1 win against Arlington Christian on Friday in the first round of the GISA Class AAA State Tournament.
ALBANY — Arlington Christian coach David White admitted his players were still a little hurt from last year’s trip to face Deerfield-Windsor.
The visiting Eagles didn’t get any sympathy from Deerfield (20-3) in Friday’s opener of the GISA Class AAA State Tournament.
The Region 3 No. 1 seed Knights, who swept Arlington Christian in the quarterfinals last season, won Friday’s opener, 4-1, behind a complete game from Austin Murphy and three RBI from Weston King.
“A lot of our guys had a chip on their shoulder wanting to prove that they were better than they played last year,” said White, whose Eagles are the No. 4 seed out of Region 2. “We know Deerfield is a really quality ball club, so we know what we are getting when we come down here.”
Arlington (13-6) ran into a streaking DWS ballclub that has won 12 games in a row and was shut down by a junior pitcher who improved to 7-0 on the mound.
Murphy allowed just six hits, struck out four and stranded runners in all but two innings.
“I knew I needed to go the distance to give our other two pitchers — Weston King and Johnny Croley — a chance to go out there and throw complete games,” Murphy said. “I didn’t want them to have to come in and clean anything up.”
King was one of the first to congratulate Murphy as he walked off the mound.
“He said, ‘I got your back. I got ‘em (today),’ ” Murphy said about his conversation with King, who will pitch in today’s second game at 1:30 p.m. of the best-of-three series, followed by Game 3, if necessary.
King did plenty of damage Friday with his bat. He knocked in the game’s first run when he singled in the bottom of the fourth, scoring Ke’Marvin Pitts. David Hines also scored on the play when Arlington Christian left fielder Brandon Robinson had trouble fielding the ball.
King then picked up two more RBI in the fifth inning when he hit a two-out single, scoring Lindsey Short and Hines.
“I was just trying to put the bat on the ball,” King said. “Luckily they snuck through the infield for base hits. I was really excited to get those RBI. We are peaking, and hopefully we can continue. We have to finish it off (today) and get ready to go next week.”
Arlington Christian’s only run came in the sixth inning when Jack Berry led off with a double and scored on an Austin Weiss single. The Eagles threatened in several of the innings — including the third inning when they had the bases loaded with one out, but Murphy got Will Watson to roll into a double play.
“We knew it would be a battle to win this series, and it’s not over with yet,” Deerfield coach Rod Murray said. “They have a lot of arms on that team and are very well-coached.”