WESTBROOK — Over the next two seasons, the best Telegram League teams are sure to get a steady diet of Westbrook High pitchers Scott Heath and Sean Murphy.

They’ve already gotten a taste of the standouts for the Blue Blazes, particularly Heath, who has put up impressive numbers since his freshman year. Murphy had his breakout season last year as a sophomore.

Opponents, if not tired of them after last season, could be tired of them after this season and certainly next. Heath, a left-hander, and Murphy, a right-hander, are juniors and arguably the best 1-2 pitching combination in the state.

“I don’t know of two better,” said Westbrook Coach Mike Rutherford.

Rutherford compares them to another lefty-righty combination he had at Portland High in the mid-1990s.

“Brian Ross and Bobby Agger pitched for me at Portland. There are a lot of similarities,” Rutherford said. “Ross and Agger were a combined 16-1 as juniors in 1995. Heath and Murphy were a combined 11-1 last season with five shutouts.

“The only difference is that Heath and Murphy developed sooner, as they had outstanding sophomore seasons. Ross and Agger had great junior seasons, which were their best years. We don’t know yet what kind of seasons Scott and Sean will have this season.”

All signs point to more of the same. Heath didn’t give up an earned run in 40 innings and finished with a 6-0 record last season. Murphy was 5-1 with a 1.26 earned-run average.

With Heath and Murphy getting their starts and other veterans sprinkled throughout the lineup, Westbrook should beat its recent nemesis, Deering, which graduated three All-State players from last season’s state title club, and get a chance at winning the school’s first Class A state title in almost 60 years.

“Winning a state title is definitely our mind-set,” said Murphy. “We have a target on our backs but we’re used to that. We know what it’s like to play in big games.”

Westbrook’s junior class has played a lot of baseball over the past six seasons, including memorable 2005 and 2008 summers when they played in the Little League World Series, then the Babe Ruth World Series.

At 6-foot-5, Murphy has the height that college and pro scouts covet. He’s already given a verbal commitment to play baseball at Division I St. John’s University in New York.

Heath is a rugged 6 feet with a live arm.

“They’re both power pitchers who throw in the 85 to 88 mph range. A lot of schools are looking at Heath, too. They both could be drafted by the major leagues at the end of their senior years,” said Rutherford.

Heath didn’t play hockey this winter to avoid injury, something he has contended with his first two seasons. He worked out at a local indoor facility, doing a lot of hitting and some pitching.

“Hopefully I’ve gained some velocity since last year,” said Heath.

Along with their fastballs, Heath and Murphy throw curves and change-ups.

“Scott has to conquer injuries this season,” said Rutherford.

Last year in a Western Class A quarterfinal against South Portland, Heath separated his non-throwing shoulder on an awkward fielding play. With Heath on the mound, the Blazes were winning 3-0 in the top of the sixth, but after he left the Red Riots rallied for a 5-3 victory.

Heath has had three knee procedures over his first two seasons, the last in August, which cleaned things up.

“Scott told me this is the best he’s felt. This is the first time he can run,” said Rutherford.

Heath, a Maine Sunday Telegram All-State pitcher last season, is also a factor at the plate. The left-handed swinging Heath batted .477 with 23 RBI.

Murphy was busy nailing 3-point shots for Westbrook in basketball this past winter. He ranked second in the SMAA from beyond the arc. The season ended with a regional final loss to Cheverus.

Murphy is hoping to put that behind him with a state title in baseball.

The Blazes still have some holes to fill.

“We only have three positional players back in Zach Collett, Zach Gardiner and Scott Heath,” said Rutherford.

The Blazes also have to find a catcher. Still, with a pitching combination of Heath and Murphy, the Blazes are looking good.

“This team is more than just the two of us,” said Murphy.

 

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or at:

[email protected]