Suffolk County pride will be on full display Friday night in Queens for Patchogue-Medford grad Marcus Stroman’s first home start as a New York Met.
The recently acquired hurler’s high school coach secured a Pat-Med section at Citi Field for the Mets’ contest against division rival Washington Nationals. At least 65 locals will join longtime Patchogue-Medford varsity baseball Coach Anthony Frascogna to cheer on Stroman, who grew up in Medford.
Among the contingent will be Pat-Med Athletic Director and former Sayville varsity baseball Coach Ryan Cox. The lifelong Sayville resident coached against Stroman during Stroman’s high school years. He serves as the baseball chair of Section XI, the association that governs interscholastic sports in Suffolk.
“We’re extremely proud of Marcus and what he’s accomplished as a Major League Baseball player and as a college athlete at Duke,” said Cox, who coached Sayville varsity baseball for 15 years before going to Pat-Med in 2017.
Cox, who will attend Friday’s game with his wife and their two children, recalled his Sayville team’s pre-season scrimmage against Patchogue-Medford during Stroman’s senior year.
“One of my players hit a jam-shot single, and was so excited that he actually got a hit off of Marcus,” said Cox, 41, a 1996 graduate of Sayville High School. “He was a big-time name, and our kids were excited to be able to play against him. I think Marcus hit a home run in that scrimmage.”
Frascogna, 51, a die-hard Yankees who coached Stroman in high school, is pumped up for Friday’s game.
“This is really a mind-blowing event — to have a guy who used to pitch on our mound at the high school now pitching in a league so many of us dreamed of playing in when we were growing up,” said Frascogna, who has emerged as a bit of a media darling in wake of the July 31 trade that delivered Stroman back home from the Toronto Blue Jays.
The idea for the trip en masse into Queens began to develop Monday afternoon, after the rock band Frascogna plays in saw its Friday night gig at Fatfish in Bay Shore get cancelled, said Frascogna, guitarist and lead singer of Eddie Trap.
“I contacted Mike Lauria, the owner at Rudis Bar and Grill in Patchogue, because I knew he had a contact with the Mets,” Frascogna said. “By five o’clock, I was on the phone with a guy from the Mets, making arrangements to buy a block of tickets at a group rate.”
The Mets told Frascogna he needed to buy at least 15 tickets to qualify for the group rate. After putting the word out to friends on Facebook, he soon had 65 people committed to attending the game. The seats are in Section 139, beyond the leftfield home run wall.
“I thought it would be a good optic to get one section filled from his hometown to show support,” Frascogna said.
Cox said the high number of people from the Patchogue-Medford area attending Friday’s game is a testament to “the Pat-Med community and how they support our athletics program.”
The Mets have won eight of nine games since their deal for Stroman, and are now in the thick of the National League playoff race. Stroman’s new team enters Friday’s game riding a six-game winning streak.