West Islip native Nick Tropeano's promotion to Astros a dream come true

Houston Astros pitcher Nick Tropeano pauses during a Houston Astros pitcher Nick Tropeano pauses during a spring training baseball workout, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, in Kissimmee, Fla. Photo Credit: AP / Alex Brandon

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The shout heard 'round West Islip came from Debbie Tropeano when son Nick, a former All-American righthanded pitcher at Stony Brook University, phoned to say he had been called up to the Houston Astros.

" 'I did it, Ma, I made it,' " Debbie Tropeano quoted her son. "I screamed in the yard. My husband was like, 'What happened?' "

That started something of a chain reaction. "My cell started blowing up," Tropeano, 24, said Tuesday from Houston, where he joined the team after going 9-5 with a Pacific Coast League-best 3.03 ERA with the Triple-A Oklahoma City Redhawks. He struck out 120 batters in 124 2/3 innings. Reports indicate he throws a fastball in the low 90s and has an excellent changeup.

The 6-4 Tropeano, who starred at West Islip High School, is the third active former Stony Brook player in the big leagues, joining fellow pitchers Joe Nathan (Tigers) and Tom Koehler (Marlins).

"Going into the year, one of my goals was to get a September call-up," Tropeano said, "and I was fortunate enough to put up a pretty decent year to put me in a good position to do that.

"It's been my dream ever since I started playing baseball. It's just crazy to know I'm here now."

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Tropeano said the Astros told him he will be part of a six-man rotation. "Be aggressive, turn some heads, open some eyes," he said of his goal. "Hopefully that will give me an opportunity to come into next year and earn a spot."

Tropeano could pitch at Citi Field when the Astros visit the Mets Sept. 26-28.

Tropeano was a fifth-round pick by Houston in the 2011 MLB draft after playing three seasons for SBU, where he won 25 games and struck out 275 with a 2.84 ERA in 2502/3 innings. "It's great when those dreams come to fruition," Seawolves coach Matt Senk said.

Tropeano said he will never forget his time at Stony Brook. "I'm definitely always going to be close to the Seawolves and Stony Brook for the opportunity they gave me," he said, "and for the experience and the maturity they brought to me."

Jays promote Seaford's Nolin. Sean Nolin, who played at Seaford High, was called up by the Blue Jays. He had a 3.43 ERA with Triple-A Buffalo. Nolin, 24, had one start with the Blue Jays in 2013, allowing seven hits and six runs in 11/3 innings.

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