Falcons Soar at Disney World

Jack Carmichael, Reporter


The Red (grey) and Blue (red) teams gather after the end of the Red vs. Blue World Series. Photo by Sodi Matthews

As the Coronavirus rapidly spread over spring break, the Fort Worth Country Day baseball team took their talents to the field at ESPN’s World Wide of Sports Tournament in Orlando, Florida. The Falcons dominated the playing field, going 4-0, with wins over East Hall High School (Gainesville, GA), Exeter Township (Reading, PA), and two wins over Frankford High School (Philadelphia, PA). In four games, the Falcons scored 31 runs en route to four wins and had great pitching throughout the tournament. 

Country Day opened up the tournament on Thursday night with an astounding 8-1 win over East Hall. Stephen Murrin ‘20 dominated the Vikings for the entire game and held them to just two hits in a complete game. 

“I just threw strikes and relied on my defense to make plays for me, which they did all game,” Murrin said. 

The Falcon offense woke up in the third, fourth and fifth innings, where they jumped out to an 8-0 lead. East Hall tacked on one run in the sixth, but the Falcons prevailed 8-1.

In the first game of the Friday doubleheader, the Falcons squared off against the Frankford Pioneers. After falling behind 7-0 early, Country Day stormed back with 11 runs in the bottom of the fourth to take an 11-7 lead. Paxton Matthews ‘23 finished off the game on the mound clinching the 11-7 victory.

The second game of the Friday doubleheader featured the Falcons and Exeter Township under the lights of The Stadium at ESPN’s World Wide of Sports. After falling behind in the first inning, the Falcons battled back. The Falcon offense had a season-high in hits including Ozzie Fleischer ‘20, Stephen Murrin ‘20, Luke Rollins ‘23, and William Portwood ‘20, who all had multiple hits. A 3-run sixth inning proved to be enough for the Falcons to move on to 3-0 with an 8-6 win. 

Saturday started off with another matchup against Frankford where Reed Stubbs ‘22 stole the show on the mound in front of a packed crowd. After giving up two runs in the first, the sophomore pitcher seemed unhittable for the remainder of the game. A 3-run third inning was all Stubbs needed. He struck out eight, while allowing only four hits, in another complete game outing, leading the Falcons to a 4-2 win.

“I was always focusing on the next pitch and not worrying about anything else,” Stubbs said. 

With the uncertainty of any games being played the rest of the season due to the Coronavirus, the baseball team played game three of the Red vs. Blue World Series from February. Once again, in front of a large crowd in the stadium, the Blue team took the lead in the bottom of the fifth and held on in the sixth to win the game and the series. 

Parker Karpel ‘20 was a member of the victorious blue team. He missed the first two games of the series early in the year due to injury but did get to play in the finale. 

“It was fun to play in the stadium. Great win by the blue team and a fun way to end the trip,” Karpel said. 

The Disneyworld trip offered a fun change of scenery from the previous spring break trips to New Orleans. 

“It was a really good opportunity for the team to get even closer. Winning all four of our games against some good competition was great, too,” Fleischer said. 

As the Coronavirus has put all sports around the world on hold, the team’s season is currently postponed, although the team remains hopeful that they can play again this year. 

“We had a great group of guys with a lot of young talent and a new coach who brought a lot of excitement to the program. I think we had the ability to make a deep run into the SPC tourney because of how hard we had worked,” Murrin said. 

First-year coach Michael Settle ‘99 had high hopes for this Falcon squad going into the season. 

“This team has worked hard since day one. We have believed that if this effort remained consistent for the duration of the season, then anything would be possible,” Settle said. “We had the potential to compete for a championship.” 

Overall, the Disney trip was certainly a success. Four wins, two complete-game pitching performances, and 31 runs make for a great week of baseball. 

“We were able to play plenty of baseball and our program grew stronger with ample opportunity for players to bond on and off of the field,” Settle said.