Feb. 8, 2012

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Nine Innings with Tom Murphy

By Phil Stanton

CollegeBaseballInsider.com Co-Founder

Phil@collegebaseballinsider.com @RoadToOmaha


Tom Murphy, a junior catcher at Buffalo, put up huge numbers a season ago. Murphy led the Mid-American Conference with a .384 batting average and was named the MAC Player of the Year. He had 16 doubles, belted 10 home runs and drove in 44 in 52 games. He received 21 walks and struck out 25 times. A native of West Monroe, N.Y., Murphy posted an on-base percentage of .446 and reached base safely in all but four games.


During the summer, Murphy was outstanding in the New England Collegiate Baseball League and joined the United States Collegiate National Team.


Murphy wanted to recognize his parents, Thomas and Kelly, who have supported him throughout his career.


Murphy recently took time to answer our questions.


First Inning – What did it mean to you to be named 2011 MAC Player of the Year?

Winning the award was something I hadn't even considered after the ending of our season because of the way our team finished, even though I thought I had some of the better personal stats in the league. To be given such an award is really a culmination of good coaching, extremely hard work and recognition from other coaches throughout the league and was a tremendous honor.

Second Inning – How was your short experience with Team USA this past summer?

Once again this happened to be another pleasant surprise in my roller coaster of a year and possibly the best one. To be named the top player in your conference is one thing but to be given the opportunity to represent your country is a whole different ballgame. It is something I will never forget and I will always cherish that seven game-stint.

Third Inning – What were the keys to your improvement from your freshman year to sophomore season?

It was kind of weird; one day my hitting coach (at the time) Jim Koerner and I were doing some extra hitting and it was like everything clicked. His exact words were "Tom, for the first time in a year and a half I have nothing to say about your swing." From then on my mechanics were established and then I turned to the mental side of the game, including my approach and really tried to perfect that and still am. Really it was a year and a half process to get from where I was to where I am and always having reinforcement from Coach Koerner allowed everything to finally come together one day.

Fourth Inning – What are your goals for the 2012 campaign?

Obviously my goals on a personal level are exactly the same as last year, that is to be the best catcher in the country. Every year I am trying to be the best no matter what it takes. But this year I'm really trying to do anything I can to make our team winners. I'd love for nothing more than to lead our team to MAC playoffs for the first time.

Fifth Inning – Which road trip are you most looking forward to this season?

Really no road trip stands out in my mind as being more important than the other. Every game I attack with the same mental focus whether it’s a midweek game against Niagara or the season opener at Kentucky.

 Sixth Inning – What were the deciding factors for you in choosing to attend Buffalo?

It came down to a couple things for me. I knew I was going to be coached for success and I knew I was going to get stronger. With Coach Torgalski and Coach Koerner here I knew I would advance my skills greatly, especially on the offensive end, and with Paul Childress and Nate Harvey, I knew how much physically stronger I could get as they are both very accomplished lifters. As a bonus, there is a farm about 30 minutes south of here that allows me to get my hunting fix in!

Seventh Inning – What is your major and what do you plan to do at the conclusion of your baseball career?

Right now my major is Sociology and I really do not know what I want to do after baseball, possibly become a State Trooper or be a coach whether its baseball or strength and conditioning. 

Eighth Inning – Which way would you prefer to end a game: hitting the game-winning homer or throwing out the potential tying run at second on a stolen base attempt?

At this point in my career I would take any win I could get! Everyone knows how hard it is to win and there is no one single play that decides the outcome of the game. With that being said, the hitter in me says to hit the home run!

Ninth Inning – Were you a catcher all through youth baseball? Was there a major league catcher you most enjoyed watching?

Ever since playing in the North Shore Little League under Dean Gass, Gary Ross, and my father, I have always caught and wouldn't have it any other way! Growing up, I lived for when the Yankees were playing on ESPN so I could watch my favorite player of
all time, Jorge Posada.  

(photos courtesy of Buffalo Media Relations Office)