PITTSBURGH – Former Maryland pitcher Adam Kolarek (2008-2010) became the 24th Terrapin to play in Major League Baseball when he debuted for the Tampa Bay Rays in Thursday night’s contest with the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park.
Kolarek, who had spent eight years in the minors and made 357 pro appearances before reaching “The Show”, entered in the seventh inning and recorded the last out of the frame. Kolarek then retired the side in the eighth and notched his first career MLB strikeout.
"The adrenaline was flowing for sure,'' Kolarek said to the Tampa Bay Times postgame. "I kind of took the approach that I started last year and brought it into this year: I don't have time to be nervous, it's time to perform. I've put in all the work, now it's time to do it.''
Kolarek is the first Maryland player to debut in MLB since Brett Cecil made his first appearance for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2009. Kolarek could make his next appearance this weekend close to home as the Rays open up a three-game set with the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
"I think we all were really impressed,'' Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "A lot of depth to the two-seamer. The stuff, the delivery is a little unique. Really impressed the way he came in there very calm and threw strikes. He did exactly what we heard he was really good at, and that was to get ground balls.''