There’s no question about Ryan Castellani's bright baseball future.
The debate is whether it should be on the mound or at the plate.
His right arm made its case for pitching on Tuesday afternoon, as the Brophy junior tossed a complete game four-hitter to lead No. 9 Brophy over top-ranked Hamilton, 3-1, at Hamilton.
Castellani gave up a run in the third inning and had allowed six baserunners to that point, but settled down the rest of the way, putting away 13 of the final 15 batters.
He didn’t strike out a batter through the first three innings but punched out six in the last four frames.
“He’s the type of guy who gets more movement when he gets a little more tired,” Brophy coach Tom Succow said. “When he throws at 85 percent he gets a lot more sink to it.”
The game was tied at 1 through three innings until Connor Messman deposited a no-doubt home run over the left field fence to lead off the fourth inning. Ryan Grotjohn added an RBI double for insurance in the fifth, which was plenty of breathing room for Castellani.
He set the Huskies down in order in the seventh, starting with a pair of strikeouts and then getting Tyler Hill to fly out to center to end the game.
“They were swinging early in the game and I was getting a lot of fly balls, ground balls,” said Castellani, who went 0-for-3 at the plate but was robbed of a two-run home run by Hamilton left fielder Justin Wylie. “I could sense that as it got later in the game and they needed to get runs, they were taking more pitches. That actually benefited me.”
Castellani outdueled Hamilton’s Kent Hasler, who also threw a complete game, giving up six hits and three earned runs while striking out nine.
“I thought Kent was fine,” Hamilton coach Mike Woods said. “When you’re pitching against a guy like that, the margin for error is razor thin.”
Hamilton scored its only run of the game in the third inning when Ryan Peep led off with a double and scored on a groundout by Skyler Palermo.
Messman was the hitting star, finishing 2-for-2 with the solo homer, a walk, and two runs scored.
Brophy began the season 3-6 but is playing much better of late. The Broncos made the championship game of the Big League Dugout Invitational and have won seven straight power points contests.
“We have our pitching, and our defense is really good,” Castellani said. “It’s our hitting that kind of determines how we play our game.”