New team, same situation for Murphy
Rockdale Post 77 makes first state appearance

CONYERS - Jack Murphy has long been associated with Post 77 baseball.

He was an assistant coach for four years and the head coach for another eight.

But in 2006, Murphy walked away from coaching American Legion baseball.

That was, until this year.

Murphy returned to Post 77 this summer to coach a new team - Rockdale Post 77 - and the results have been stellar.

In its first year competing in American Legion baseball, Rockdale Post 77 is going to the state tournament.

Rockdale earned its state tournament berth after finishing second in the North Georgia Area Tournament.

Rockdale hits the field today in its first round matchup, facing off against Leesburg at 1 p.m. at Middle Georgia College in Cochran.

Although he faced Leesburg in the past when he coached for Conyers Post 77, Murphy admits he doesn't know much about the 2008 Leesburg team.

He just knows they're likely to be better rested than his bunch.

"I really don't know much about them. All I know is that they (Leesburg) have been sitting there about a week and a half," he said. "They don't do an area tournament in the South Georgia Area, so they've been sitting there resting. In the meantime, we've been beating ourselves up in the North Georgia Area tournament."

Murphy said his team will need to bring its 'A' game if they are to win a state championship.

"We're going to have play good defense, get good pitching and score runs," Murphy said. "We need timely hitting, which we started to get the past few games. We struggled to score runs this year, but in the tournament, there were a few games in a row where we scored double-digits. The guys were really starting to hit the ball."

Unlike the North Georgia Area Tournament, where the top four teams advanced to the state tournament, only the winner of the state tournament will move on to regionals.

Brandon Evans can be reached at brandon.evans @rockdalecitizen.com.