There's a Casey at the bat and another on the mound for the Watertown Reds of the Intercity League.
The ace of the Reds’ staff, Brian Casey, has developed into one of the Greater Boston summer league’s elite pitchers. The former Milford High and Tufts University standout is 3-0 in as many starts with an 0.35 earned run average, fanning 33 in 20 innings while allowing just two walks.
His younger brother, Brendan, who batted .316 as a junior with 5 homers for Azusa Pacific University in California this spring, starts at third and bats fifth for the Reds, 6-3 through their first nine games.
Brian, an assistant at Tufts for his father, John, was the Intercity League's co-Pitcher of the Year in 2010 and last season. The Reds have made the playoffs four years in a row.
Since the 2010 season, the 5-foot-10, 180-pound Casey is 16-3-1 with a 1.21 ERA over 139 innings with 161 strikeouts and 17 walks — and no home runs allowed. He is 3-2 in the postseason with an 0.96 ERA.
“At Tufts, I was an infielder and then a closer and I continued that with the Reds when I first played for them a year after I graduated college,” said Casey.
“When I became a full-time starter I just tried to continue to go after guys, and I'm fortunate to have a great defense behind me and to play in a wood-bat league. Summer baseball is great fun for me, especially after spending the spring coaching.’’
Because Casey is occasionally on the road recruiting, Reds founder and manager Joe Chiodo plans his pitching rotation to accommodate the right-handed hurler and other players who have work commitments.
Casey, in California last week scouting at baseball camps, was planning to take a red-eye flight to Boston Sunday night. He is scheduled to pitch Monday night at Victory Field against the visiting Medford Americans.
“Brendan and I never had a chance to play together when we were younger, so this is great. It’s something brothers don't always get a chance to do,” said the 27-year-old Casey. “Brendan approaches the game the right way and it's showing.'”
Brendan, 21, was hitting .276 with three doubles, six runs scored, and seven RBIs.
“It's nice to be home in Milford for the summer and also to get to hang around with Brian at his place in Medford,” said Brendan, who helped lead Azusa Pacific to a 47-12 mark and advance to the NAIA playoffs this season. “Brian is great as a brother and teammate, and he's like another pair of eyes in breaking down my swing and helping me improve.
“I love watching him pitch because he just attacks the strike zone and challenges the hitters,” added the 5-11, 225-pound Casey, now in his third season with the Reds, who play their home games at Bentley University.
Their two other siblings are also firmly entrenched on the diamond.
Kevin Casey, a former All-New England infielder at Tufts, is the head coach of the New England Ruffnecks under-18 team. He is also an assistant baseball coach at Nashua’s Daniel Webster College, which won the New England Collegiate Conference championship and qualified for the NCAA Division 3 tournament.
Chris Casey, who captained the Milford High varsity this spring, is playing center field for the Milford American Legion Post 59 squad, and will be a freshman at Western New England University in the fall.
“I've been buying 50-50 raffle tickets for 11 years at my sons’ Legion games,” said John Casey, who recently completed his 29th season at Tufts, which was 22-12 overall. Brian, an All-New England pitcher and infielder at the Medford university, has been his assistant for five of those years.
“Brian has done a great job for us and a lot of our success is due to him,” said his father.
“When he played for me, he was a second baseman and shortstop and became our closer as a senior. He's gained a lot of knowledge about the game as a hitter and pitcher and now as a coach.
“So he's older and wiser and has applied that to his approach to the batters he's facing in the Intercity League.”
Chiodo said that Brian helped carry the Reds to the league finals in 2010, and has “raised the bar” for the rest of the pitching staff.
“He's an extremely fierce competitor,” said Chiodo, who starred at Watertown High, was an all-conference pitcher at Framingham State, and served as the varsity baseball coach at Watertown High from 2002 to 2011.
“Winning is the only thing that matters once Brian steps on the field and his numbers prove that,” added Chiodo, also an assistant baseball coach at the University of Massachusetts Boston, “and with his background, it's great to be able to have him share that wealth of knowledge with the young guys who join our team.”
Chiodo said Brendan is a “rock” in the field and an offensive catalyst.
“Whatever the situation calls for, Brendan's been willing to do it. He's even volunteered to catch if need be,” said Chiodo. “He's just as fierce a competitor as his brother but is the first to crack a joke to keep things loose. It's been fun to watch him get better each season. I can see him becoming a perennial All-League player.”