OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 04: Sean Murphy #12 of the Oakland Athletics is congratulated by third base coach Matt Williams #4 after Murphy hit a solo home run against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the bottom of the fifth inning at Ring Central Coliseum on September 04, 2019 in Oakland, California. The home run was Murphy's first career hit. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Photo: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
Photo: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Former Centerville, Wright State catcher hits home run in big-league debut

Sean Murphy was a third-round pick in 2016

Murphy, 24, a third-round pick in the 2016 draft, went 1-for-3 in a 4-0 victory against the Los Angeles Angels in Oakland. His solo home run, his first hit in the big leagues, against Jake Jewell in the fifth inning gave the A’s a 2-0 lead.

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous,” Murphy told MLB.com. “But once we settled into the game — and of course a home run helps — I felt much better out there. It’s the same game I’ve been playing, so nothing new.”

Murphy also caught a shutout in his first game. Former Red Tanner Roark started for the A’s and pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings.

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Murphy was the Horizon League Freshman of the Year in 2014 and had a .309 career average with 14 homers and 105 RBIs in 155 games in three seasons at Wright State.

When he was drafted, then Wright State coach Greg Lovelady said, “(The Athletics) are going to get somebody who cares about winning, cares about the team and someone who is really, really dynamic behind the plate.”

Murphy hit .308 with 10 home runs in 31 games at Triple-A this season. He was the franchise’s third-ranked prospect.

"(I've improved) everything," Murphy told NBC Sports when he was promoted. "As far as my hitting, hitting for some more power, trying to improve my walks and plate discipline. Footwork behind the plate is always important, and of course, pitch-calling and getting on the same page with your pitchers is our number one job."

two-time All-Horizon League pick and was freshman of the year in 2014. He had a .309 career average with 14 homers and 105 RBIs in 155 games, helping the Raiders to two straight NCAA regional runner-up finishes.

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