Not every baseball player wants to fill the role that Manchester University senior Brad Murphy excels in.
He is not a power guy who is going to launch massive home runs nor is he overly fast on the basepaths.
But what he does do well is get on base.
Murphy, a Carroll High School graduate, enters the NCAA Division III World Series that begins today in Wisconsin with a streak of 34 consecutive games in which he has reached base at least once. He is fourth on the team in on-base percentage (.462) and leads the Spartans with 36 walks.
He hopes to continue his incredible streak in the eight-team, double-elimination tournament for a Manchester program making its second-ever appearance in the College World Series, the other time being in 2004.
Manchester (39-5-1) will open tournament play against UW-Stevens Point at 5:30 p.m.
“It is my role (to get on base) and I have accepted it,” said Murphy, who hits second in the Spartans lineup. “I get on base any way that I can and let the guys behind me in the order do their thing and drive me in.”
Murphy has been accustomed to such a role for much of his playing career.
At Carroll he hit leadoff and let his teammates in the heart of the order move him over or score him. Never has he given a thought to trying to be something he is not, a power hitter.
“It is just something I have embraced,” Murphy said. “I think it is important to have someone like me to not necessarily hit home runs and try and be like the other guys but embrace my role of what things I can do best to help the team.”
Murphy will need to provide plenty of help to a Manchester team that is riding a 16-game winning streak entering the World Series, including a defeat of two-time champion Marietta in the Mideast Regional Championship last week.
The Spartans squad of 2004 that reached this level was bounced after two games.
“It is cliché but we just want to take it one game at a time, every team is going to be very good,” Murphy said. “We respect everyone but fear no one. Whatever happens happens.”