BRISTOL - Over the summer, Edgewood Senior League Baseball pitcher Ryan Fradette has flashed the ability to strike people out.
Against Killingly on Wednesday it was no different, as Fradette struck out five through 2 2/3 innings.
But with two outs in the third inning Fradette’s command got away from him, something that has been an issue for the right-handed sophomore from Bristol Eastern.
It led to Fradette being taken out of the game by head coach Mike Ziogas, not an unfamiliar spot for the coach.
While going to the bullpen to relieve Fradette because of command issues has happened multiple times, Ziogas knows Fradette’s capabilities and is working to help him reach his potential.
“This spring Ryan’s had some decent games for us,” Ziogas said. “We’ve tried to slow down and simplify his motion so he’s not reaching back too much or leaning forward too much. We’re trying to get him more balanced. But sometimes he works too quick and when he does that he generally leaves the ball up in the zone and walks happen.”
Despite his recent performance, Fradette thinks it’s an outlier from the progress he has made on the mound over the course of the season.
“Over time my command has been working better,” he said. “At the beginning of the season I couldn’t throw strikes, but since then I’ve been slowing myself down and it’s gotten better. Sometimes it’s just off.”
While relied upon as a pitcher, Fradette is equally important at the plate.
Hitting in the No. 3 spot of the batting order all summer long, Fradette has been a steady run producer for Edgewood.
He’s a big bat in the meat of the order and when he’s struggling on the mound, staying focused at the plate is a getaway of sorts.
“It’s helping yourself and the team,” Fradette said. “If you get that hit it’s giving yourself more confidence. And if you’re hitting, your team will get going too. You know they will score runs for you, so it gives you more motivation to get up and get that hit.”
At the plate is where Edgewood thrives.
Outside of scoring just one run against Killingly on Wednesday, Edgewood has shown the ability to produce big time run totals.
Still, in order to win the Senior League state championship, there’s something missing for Edgewood and that’s the pitching.
“[Our pitchers are] more than capable of throwing strikes,” Edgewood leadoff hitter Gabe Bartolome said. “It’s just a rough patch here and there at untimely moments, which cost us big [Wednesday]. We need to get better.”