The Whitehall Ledger - Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

By Jack H. Smith
Ledger Publisher 

Dynamic duo sparks Outlaws

Johnson, Murphy bat one, two in lineup

 

Courtesy Photo

RYAN MURPHY

Nearly 50 games into their season, the Gallatin Valley Outlaws American Legion Post #87 team is starting to play some of their best baseball of the season.

The team, which as of last week had a 12-6 conference record, has been sparked by their first two batters in the lineup -- the Whitehall based duo of Connor Johnson and Ryan Murphy.

While they both excel at other sports, the two agree that baseball is their favorite, and both have played since they were four-years-old.

The Outlaws are based out of Three Forks, and along with players from the home site, their roster includes members from Ennis, Manhattan, Whitehall and Harrison. Murphy said in other sports they are rivals, but for baseball they get to be teammates.

The Outlaws currently have an overall record of 23-24, and four of their losses conference losses have been to a tough Belgrade team. Because the team will be hosting the state tournament, the Outlaws will receive an automatic bid, but both Johnson and Murphy want the team to earn the spot regardless. They want it to be based on their play the remainder of the season.

Murphy said the ultimate goal is to win the state tournament and qualify for regionals.

Johnson, who bats leadoff for the Outlaws, also plays centerfield and would like to continue his playing career in college. Murphy, who plays second base and pitches, also wants to proceed to the next level. Both are going to weigh their options at the end of high school to find the best fit.

Contributed Photo

CONNOR JOHNSON

With a commute to Three Forks for practice, and multiple years of playing together the two have also formed a tight friendship.

"That is part of the reason as to why we have become best friends," Murphy said.

Johnson said his goal as a leadoff hitter is to get on base, and Murphy said he has the "wheels" to make things happen on the bases.

The team has many games locally including their next home game against Anaconda July 12 in Three Forks, but have also traveled around the West including last weekend in Cody, WY, and a recent trip to play at a tournament in Rapid City, S.D.

Johnson said the team comes together during the long road trips and they also receive a lot of support from their family who travel to watch them play.

 

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