Bradfords lead Fort Frye baseball past Caldwell

BEVERLY – Fort Frye outfielder Trent Bradford may expect a little bigger Christmas present from younger brother and Cadet pitcher Tyler this winter.

The elder Bradford came up with two outstanding defense plays in left field to preserve a victory for his younger brother as the Cadets scored a key 9-5 Pioneer Valley Conference win over the Caldwell Redskins Thursday night in Beverly.

“Trent plays a great left field for us all the time and really had an outstanding game tonight,” said Cadet head coach Sonny Bidwell. “He came up with a big hit for us as well.”

Both teams got on the board in the opening inning as Caldwell scored a run on an RBI single by starting pitcher Caleb Heller and Fort Frye answered with a pair on run-scoring singles by both Bradfords.

Caldwell had a major opportunity to do more damage in the top of the second when it loaded the bases with one out, but Bradford got Tanner Clark to hit a hard comebacker back to the mound that resulted in a 1-2-3 double play that ended the inning.

The Cadets went right back to work in the second as they scored three more times off of Heller.

With one out, center fielder Luke Nelson reached base on an error and moved to third on a double by Issac Klinger.

Shortstop Tate Engle then doubled to the fence in left-center field to score both runners and give the Cadets a 4-1 lead.

Third baseman Derek Layton singled in Engle for the final run of the inning.

Caldwell threatened once again in the third as it put a pair of runners on with just one out but Trent Bradford’s diving catch in left field off a line drive off the bat of catcher Clark Jennings saved a pair of runs and kept the Cadets in front by four.

Caldwell got an RBI double off the bat of Clark in the top of the fourth and once again had a pair of runners in scoring position when Nelson made a diving catch in centerfield on a shot off the bat of Austin Mettler to turn a sure fire base hit into a sacrifice fly.

Engle collected three hits, scored three times and drove in three for the Cadets including an RBI double in the fifth and Tyler Bradford helped his own cause with his second run-scoring single of the game.

Trent Bradford robbed Jennings for the second time in three innings with yet another outstanding catch in left field in the fifth and the Cadets increased their lead to 8-3 on a Klinger sacrifice fly in the bottom half of the inning.

Caldwell finally chased Bradford by scoring a pair of runs in the sixth to cut the lead back to three, but Layton came on in relief to slam the door and secure the eighth win of the season for the Cadets.

“They took advantage of our mistakes and got some big hits. We had the same opportunities and they came up with some big plays on defense,” said Caldwell head coach Brian Wheeldin.

The Redskins, who slipped to 5-3 with the loss, got a pair of hits apiece by Clark, Mettler and second baseman Brennon Sailing.

Fort Frye collected 13 base hits in the game as it improved to 8-4 overall and 4-1 in the PVC as the season creeps past the halfway mark.

“I thought we had a great approach at the plate tonight and our situational hitting was very good,” said Bidwell, whose team hits the road to play Magnolia today. “Caldwell is a very good team and a resilient team and we tried to let them back in it. We just have to learn to mature a bit and close the door on teams when we have the lead o them.”

Caldwell will return home today to host Buckeye Trail.