WILMINGTON — It had to be cool enough that former Phillies managers Charlie Manuel and Larry Bowa were seated in the first section behind home plate Wednesday night when Saint Mark’s High school graduate Billy Sullivan entered a scoreless game in the third inning at Frawley Stadium.
But the temperature soared when Sullivan slammed the door on the Blue Rocks and a throng of his family and friends erupted in a raucous roar as he worked out of an inherited runners-in-scoring position jam to keep his visiting South Jersey Blue Claws even in a tie game.
The 6-1, 195-pound righthander from New Castle brought the heat with fastballs clocking in at 95 and 96.
Sullivan, 22, graduated from Saint Mark’s in 2017. He signed with the Phillies on June 15 last year as an undrafted free agent. The Phillies showed interest in him three years earlier, selecting him in the 28th round of the draft, but Sullivan chose to attend the University of Delaware.
Sullivan yielded no hits and struck out three in an inning and a third Wednesday in his home state. His family and friends roared with each punchout, giving the visiting player a warm homecoming.
It was his third appearance of the season. He has recorded six strikeouts in 3.2 innings with a 2.45 ERA.
The Claws play four more in a row in Wilmington through Sunday, May 16 (1:05 p.m.).
The Blue Rocks won the game, 1-0, on the strength a solo home run from Jacob Rhinesmith in the bottom of the eighth.