Boyd-Buchanan's Murrell Will Sign Baseball Grant With Lee University

Bucs' Stalwart Used Strong Senior Year As Springboard To College Grant

Wednesday, June 04, 2014 - by Larry Fleming

Nathan Murrell, one of three seniors that helped Boyd-Buchanan reach the 2014 TSSAA Class A state baseball tournament last month, said Wednesday he will sign a scholarship to continue his career at Lee University in Cleveland.

Murrell batted .427 this season, including going 4-for-11 (.364) with four RBIs in three state tournament games in Murfreesboro during the recent TSSAA Spring Fling. After beating Forrest in the tourney opener, the Bucs lost to Jackson Christian – the eventual state champion – and Goodpasture.

During his four-year career at Boyd-Buchanan, Murrell started out as a catcher and then switched to primarily playing second base and third base for coach Josh Rider.

Murrell’s job behind the plate lasted all of three weeks in his rookie season, but the Flames, who finished second in the National Christian College Athletic Association World Series last month, will probably start the Bucs’ versatile player behind the plate, with the options of playing him at first base and third base.

“They said I would be catching and playing first base, with some reps at third,” Murrell, 18, said in a telephone interview. “I don’t know if I’ll stay at catcher. I’ll just have to see how it plays out. I liked catching for those three weeks my freshman season before moving to third.

“The coaches at Lee told me they need a third and maybe fourth catcher next season. So, me and another guy will probably fill in there.”

Murrell chose the Flames, who compete in the Gulf South Conference, chose the Flames over Morehead State, Columbia State, Roane State and Georgia Highlands.

The 18-year-old Murrell visited Lee on Tuesday and decided to join the Flames.

“I like the campus and their baseball program,” Murrell said. “We haven’t set a time for signing, but I would think it will be in the next week or so.”

Murrell had a pro day workout at Georgia Highlands on Monday and had intended to visit Morehead State and work out at Columbia State next week, but those plans were cancelled after he made his decision to sign with coach Mark Brew’s Flames.

Murrell was a freshman on Rider’s first squad as head coach, so he knows the potential for his infield stalwart.

“Nate has tons of potential because he can already hit at a college level,” Rider said. “Offensively, he brings a lot to the table. Defensively, he has good hands and I know he’ll go up there and work hard. They told him he would have an opportunity to earn playing time and that’s all you can ask for at a baseball program like Lee.”

Brew just completed his eighth season as the Flames’ head coach with a runner-up finish to Fresno Pacific in the NCCAA World Series at Mason, Ohio. Lee finished 37-18 after the 5-1 loss to Fresno in the championship game.

Brew’s first seven teams made appearances in the NAIA World Series and included runner-up finishes in 2008 and 2010 and third in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

The Flames won 50-plus games in each of Brew’s first seven seasons before moving into NCAA Division II and Gulf South Conference competition.

“Nate turned into a great leader this year,” Rider said. “He always led by example because he had other guys ahead of him more vocal. Nate was more vocal this year and that really helped our team.”

Murrell, who began playing baseball at the age of 5, enrolled at Boyd-Buchanan in the first grade and played football through middle school before concentrating on just baseball throughout his high school career.

As a senior, Murrell helped the Bucs post a school-record 29 wins with a 16-game winning streak – another school mark – along the way. He wound up with 53 hits, second on the team’s all-time single-season record list. His 52 RBIs in a season is a record.

Murrell will take home some serious postseason hardware at the Bucs’ baseball banquet on Monday night. He shares Co-Most Valuable Player honors with Jim Cardwell and the Co-Offensive Player of the Year with Cade Evans.

Now, Murrell will try his diamond skills at a high profile Division II program.

“I’m excited to play at the next level,” he said.

(E-mail Larry Fleming at larryfleming44@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @larryfleming44)




Third Round Play-Off Scores: Prep Football

Class 6A no local teams remaining Class 5A Rhea County 35 Oak Ridge 21 (FINAL) Class 4A no local teams remaining Class 3A Notre Dame 48 McMinn Central 7 (FINAL) Class 2A Marion County 41 Trousdale County 20 (FINAL) Class 1A Monterey 28 Copper Basin 8 (FINAL) Division II-AA MBA 31 Baylor 29  (FINAL) (click for more)

John Shearer: Remembering Pat Summitt’s First Team Of 40 Years Ago

Earlier this month, three middle-aged women significant in University of Tennessee sports history wandered through the halls of the Alumni Memorial Building in Knoxville near Neyland Stadium.   They seemed a little confused, and perhaps disheartened, to realize that certain hallways no longer lead to the gymnasium, and that the old water fountain they drank out of after ... (click for more)

County Schools Have Plan To Put Security Cameras At Every School

The Hamilton County Schools have a plan to put security cameras in every school, Supt. Rick Smith told the County School Board Thursday night. He said the money would come from the $2,201,000 the schools received last year from the sale of the old Ooltewah Elementary School property. The proposal must get approval from the School Board at the December meeting, then from the ... (click for more)

Lookout Mountain, Ga., Raises Sewer Rates; Joins In Kudzu Fight

The Lookout Mountain, Ga., City Council on Thursday night approved an increase in sewer charges. The council approved ordinance 281 increasing sewer rates to $6 per 100 cubic feet of water from the previous rate of $4.77.  The new increase will be in effect in January 2015.    City Manager Brad Haven said the town will be replacing the flow meter for ... (click for more)

Don't Allow Us To Be Overrun By People Who Do Not Belong Here - And Response (5)

Thank you, Senator Corker, for your clear, concise evaluation of the president's attempt to bypass Congress and personally and independently establish national policy that violates our current immigration laws.   Our long-standing failure to enforce our laws to control illegal immigration across our southern border has made this country less safe and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Pretty’ Seeking ‘Rich’

The story has been around for a while, long enough for the fact-checking Snopes.com to classify it as a “legend,” which means “great story but lacks validity,” so as we hope Tennessee’s football team can somehow beat 19 th -ranked Missouri in a rough-and-tumble game at Neyland Stadium tonight, allow me to share this because it is delightful just the same. The following is what ... (click for more)