Lynn English’s Bowden worked the first two innings for the South, fanning five as the North didn’t get a base-runner against the Vanderbilt bound left-hander. Peabody’s Pat Ruotolo pitched the third and fourth innings and while he struck out five, a few passed balls ultimately led to the North’s only run of the game.
With one out in the top of the fifth, Ruotolo got Thomas Connors to chase a curve in the dirt, but the ball got by catcher Kyle Devin allowing Connors to take first. Then, after a walk, a catcher’s interference call put another runner on with two outs and when Ruotolo threw another curve in the dirt that bounced off the front of the plate and to the backstop, Connors crossed home to break the scoreless tie.
“I felt great. My arm’s better than it’s been,” said Ruotolo, who also talked about the experience. “It was a fun time out there. It was a great time pitching against everyone from around here.”
North coach T.J. Baril, who led Masco to a Division 2 North Championship this season, spoke about his first opportunity to coach in the Agganis Classic.
“I get to hang around a bunch of guys who love baseball,” said Baril. “It’s cool. It’s a different atmosphere — more laid back with guys joking around. The pitching was excellent. Their first two guys (Bowden and Ruotolo) were lights out. They know they’re only throwing two innings so they can bring a little extra.”
St. John’s Prep pitcher Dustin Hunt started the game for the North and he whiffed two while allowing one hit. Central Catholic’s Andrew Hamel pitched the next two scoreless innings before Toomey took the bump and then Bishop Fenwick’s Brian Burke and Marblehead’s Connor Green pitched the final two innings.