Dukes head to regionalsPublished 10:18am Friday, May 24, 2013
BY STEPHEN H. COWLES/CONTRIBUTING WRITER
WINDSOR—Frances Murray, widow of renowned coach Edward “Tex” Murray, was like a lucky charm on Tuesday for Windsor High School boys baseball. After she threw the first pitch, the Dukes went on beat Sussex Central Tigers, 27-0. On Wednesday, the Windsor boys defeated Surry High School Cougars, 10-5. These two wins enable the Dukes to go to regionals next week.
The action for both games took place on the Tex Murray Memorial Field in Windsor, which is named for Murray, who died March 8. He coached Windsor for 35 years from 1966-2001.
Tex had more than 400 wins, 17 consecutive appearances in the district final and two state tournament appearances, according to Assistant Baseball Coach Tim Paschal.
“Baseball was his life. He did love it,” said Frances Murray. “I did love our time at Windsor.”
The invitation to pitch Tuesday came from Paschal, who said he “had the pleasure of working with Tex.”
In preparation for her moment on the mound, Frances said she practiced with her son and one of her grandsons.
“We threw for a while,” she said with a laugh. “I managed to get a few feet. It was just nice to be back on that field.”
“The boys were really receptive to our family’s needs when Tex died in March,” Frances Murray also remembered. “The whole team came to the viewing and service. They’re very, very fine young men.”
She said her husband of 47 years “always coached a team that had excellent manners. He molded them into fine young men. I’m so glad the current coaches are continuing that practice.”
In that first game, senior Aaron Dortch was the winning pitcher for the Dukes, amassing seven strike-outs in five innings, while giving up only one hit and two walks, according to scorekeeper Patrick Holtz. Senior Zachary Cahalan led the team with five Runs Batted In. Freshman Cory Childress led the team in batting with two doubles, a single and a walk. The Dukes stood then at 11-5 on the season.
For the second game, Holtz reported Childress racked up the win, pitching five complete innings with five strike-outs and only one base on balls.
Senior Mason Cobb gets the save, pitching two innings and obtaining two strike-outs while giving up only one walk. Sophomore Drew Parsain drove in four runs for the Dukes, while sophomore Griffin Holtz led the team in batting with three singles. The Dukes stand at 12-5 on the season.
“They played pretty well under the circumstances it was a championship game,” Windsor Coach Robert Hedrick said after Wednesday’s victory. “They played very well.”
He said seven of his players are seniors and was proud that “they didn’t let a thing phase them.”
Hedrick singled out Childress for praise, and said, “He’s been a machine all season.”
Cobb said after the game he thought he “did pretty good” as pitcher and on third base, adding, “I’m pleased with my performance.”
The Dukes go on to regionals, and the coach said they’ll host either Lancaster or Essex at 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 28, on the Tex Murray field.