Cairo's complete game propels No. 8 Bradford to win at Indian Trail


By Andy Sroka
Staff Writer

KENOSHA, Wis. – For the second time in as many days, the No. 9-ranked Bradford Red Devils got the best of crosstown rivals Indian Trail, in game two of their three-game series on Wednesday. Bradford sent junior right-hander Nick Cairo to the mound and he pulled more than his own weight, going the distance and even providing a little spark on offense.

Neither Cairo nor Indian Trail’s starter, fellow uncommitted junior righty Sam Scarlato, faced much trouble in their first time through each other’s lineup, Bradford rallied in their second time through. After three quiet frames, Kyle McKinnon flared a single into shallow right field that was just out of the reach of freshman second baseman Ian Choi, which led off the inning. After a fly out to left, an error in the infield put runners on first and second base for five-hole-hitter Spencer Lehmann, who promptly scorched a line drive into the right-center gap that rolled long enough to allow both runners to score with ease, and also let Lehmann coast into third with the go-ahead triple.

Cairo helped himself out in the ensuing at-bat, laying down a perfectly placed suicide squeeze bunt. Lehmann reached the plate well before Scarlato had any time to toss it home and he opted to get the inning’s second out at first base instead.

Indian Trail didn’t have a response for the Bradford rally in the bottom of the fourth and Cairo just kept rolling. However, after a silent fifth, the Hawks looked threatening in the sixth when an error and a single started the half-inning. After Max Tindall dropped a single over the second baseman’s head, giving IT runners on first and third with no outs, Cairo was in his first real jam of the ballgame. Max Bruff, the Hawks’ three-hole bat, stood in and grounded a sharply hit ball to second base and Bradford’s senior up-the-middle tandem, Jared Bonofiglio and Thomas Coffey, both of whom are headed to Carthage College next fall, turned a smooth double play. The Red Devils gladly traded two outs for the Hawks’ first run and Cairo was able to quell the threat.

After that rocky fourth, Scarlato was never really in hot water again, which allowed him to go the distance as well, but Indian Trail’s offense was never able to get in the groove against Cairo. The Bradford junior breezed over a one-out error in the seventh to secure his team the win, which helped them keep pace in the Southeast Conference, where they presently hold a 0.5 game lead on Franklin, which also won on Wednesday.

For Indian Trail, they just can’t shake this losing skid. The young and inexperienced Hawks have an exciting group that will keep them competitive in the conference over the next couple of springs, at least, but they’re still working out the kinks looking to overturn this nine-game losing streak. These two will complete their three-game series at Bradford on Friday. IT will wrap up the regular season with a series against Horlick next week, while the Red Devils have Racine Case on the schedule, but also have non-conference meeting with Westosha Central on Saturday, weather permitting.

GAME HIGHLIGHTS

+ RHP Nick Cairo, Bradford: 7 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 1 R (0 ER), 6 K
+ RHP Sam Scarlato, Indian Trail: 7 IP, 4 H, 0 BB, 3 R (2 ER), 4 K
+ 1B Spencer Lehmann, Bradford: 1-for-3, 3B, 2 RBI

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