SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

April 24, 2013

Around the Horn: Eagles committed to Frates' ALS cause

(Continued)

When Frates speaks, his message is never about himself. He tells players to be passionate, genuine and hard working. He knows just when to crack a joke and is always smiling.

“Just to shake Pete’s hand and be around him, it means a lot to us,” said Noe. “It was great to be able to get together and play with some meaning, play for someone. The whole Prep community has always had each other’s backs — and we’re glad to be part of that.”

To learn more about Frates and the fight against ALS, visit http://www.PeteFrates.com.

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Peabody’s superb right-hander, Pat Ruotolo, joined some elite company when he fanned his 300th batter last week against Lynn Classical. Tanner greats Mike Proto and Jeff Allison are the only other members of the school’s 300-K club on record.

Allison, Class of 2003 and one-time first round draft choice of the Florida Marlins, has the school’s career strikeout record with 378. He did that in just 191 innings, averaging 1.97 punchouts per inning and an absurd 17.8 K/9 innings. As a senior, Allison fanned 128 batters in just 55 innings (20.9 K/9) and he was 24-3 in his career.

Ruotolo, a UConn commit, is remarkably durable, having already thrown 195 career innings. With 308 strikeouts, he averages 1.58 per inning and has a K/9 of 14.2. The senior workhorse has gone seven or more innings in his last 13 starts.

Proto, who helped Peabody reach the 1996 Division 1 state final and threw for Clemson, was one of the winningest pitchers in Tanner history. He went 27-7 and struck out 328 batters as a four-year varsity hurler, which spanned 249 innings.

Ruotolo has 18 wins, plus four saves, in his career. He hasn’t allowed a run in 17 2/3 innings to start 2013, after tossing up scoreless frames streaks of 22 and 34 last season.

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A wrist injury limited his preseason, but you’d never know it looking at the superb pitching line Beverly senior Alex Toomey has so far. He’s 3-0 with a win in relief over Masconomet, a 12-strikeout performance in a victory over Lynn Classical, and a 10-K, 1-hit shutout of Salem this week.

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