If the Winter Garden Squeeze are starting to come together at just the right time, having strung together four wins in the final five games of the Florida Collegiate Summer League's regular season, so too is West Orange alumnus Brandon Murray.
Murray, a rising sophomore for the University of South Florida Bulls in Tampa, has been impressive in his past two outings, allowing just two hits over 5.1 innings in picking up a win against DeLand and pitching six inning of hitless baseball in Friday’s combined no-hitter against College Park.
The Squeeze won that contest, 5-1.
The former Warrior’s strong performance of late has head coach Ruben Felix taking notice.
“He [Murray] pitched really, really good the last two outings,” Felix said. “He’s adjusted himself, [his] mindset and he believes he can pitch in this league.
“And that’s big for us.”
Friday’s no-hitter, just the third in the history of the Florida Collegiate Summer League, also saw stellar relief performances from Brad Paramapoonya (Texas Permian Basin) and Daniel Portales (USF).
That the feat came by way of a team effort is something Felix is particularly proud of from his pitching staff.
“[A] combined no-hitter; that’s probably even harder than a one-person no hitter,” Felix said.
As for Murray, who had a 6.32 ERA in 15 appearances as a freshman for the Bulls, the hope is that any confidence acquired during the final stretch of the summer season will carry over with him to Tampa.
“I mean [I’m] just trusting my stuff up there and trusting the defense behind me,” Murray said.