Kade Trottier says there's nothing esoteric about his pitching philosophy.
His advocates throwing strikes, keeping the pitch count down and keeping his defense busy.
That formula worked well enough on Thursday to give the Bismarck Capitals a 2-0 nine-inning baseball victory over the Mandan A's in Mandan. Only 1:51 was needed to complete the crisply-played contest.
Results of the second game were not made available to the Tribune at press time.
Trottier, making his first pitching appearance of the spring, pitched exactly the type of game he desires. He walked one, struck out four, hit a batter, surrendered only one hit and permitted just one runner to advance beyond first base.
He expended just 84 pitches in his eight innings of toil, firing 54 strikes.
Trottier, who was an "every once in awhile" pitcher for the Capitals last season, worked like he was intimately familiar with the demands of the pitching mound.
"I was just waiting for my moment; that was today. ... What happened today is all you can ask for," he said.
Trottier, a recent Century High School graduate, is a 5-foot-11, 170-pounder. He played baseball, football and basketball at CHS, but not at the varsity level. He said he fills a utility role with the Capitals. Last season that included a few starting assignments on the hill and a few relief appearances.
"I play all over. My preferred position is the infield, shortstop or third base, but I've played mostly outfield this year. Where ever I'm needed, I'll go, he said.
Mandan starter Avery Bogner, like Trottier a right-hander, was every bit his opponent's equal for eight innings. He allowed just two hits in eight innings, hitting two batters and striking out four. His 98 pitches included 61 strikes. He, too, allowed just one man to advance to scoring position.
Once Bogner and Trottier departed the scene, however, the issue was quickly decided.
Stetson Kuntz, who moved from shortstop to the mound for Mandan, retired the first two men he faced. Then came a four-pitch base on balls to Reese Trottier, and the roof caved in.
Three walks and a single later, he struck out the eighth Capital hitter, Noah Welch, to end the inning. Jack Trottier knocked in Reese Trottier with the first run of the game with a ground ball single to center field. Josh Lardy came home with the second run on a bases-loaded free pass to Peyton Eagleson.
Josh Kolling finished up for the Capitals, pitching a hitless ninth inning.
Capitals coach Aric Lee said Trotter made the pitches and the defense made the plays.
"He threw very well for the first time out," Lee said. "He kept his pitch count down and kept us in the game."
Trottier, whose pitches remained in the 60s through all eight innings, said he doesn't expect to register many strikeouts.
"I just look to pound the strike zone and paint some corners. Then I'll hit them with a long, looping curveball," he said. "I've never been much of a strikeout pitcher. I don't let them get the barrel of the bat on the ball, and I let my fielders do the work."
"My goal is always a low pitch count," he added. "I'm always looking for a first-pitch strike. Then I can do whatever I want."
He slipped the first pitch in for a strike on 19 of the 27 men he faced.
A's coach Robert Bird Horse said Bogner has not been pitching in luck. The coach said Bogner endured a similar loss last week.
"He threw a week and one-half ago in Minot. It was pretty much the same. ... We couldn't get any runs for him," Bird Horse said.
"He got ahead and kept them off-balance. He gave us a chance to win the game. You really can't ask more of a pitcher," Bird Horse added.
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