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Former Deacon makes MLB debut
Tuesday, Sep 25, 2001
By Staff    


CHICAGO (BP)--Former Wake Forest All-American pitcher Mike MacDougal made his major league debut on Saturday night for Kansas City. MacDougal started for the Royals at Comiskey Park in Chicago against the White Sox.

MacDougal, a first-round pick in 1999, pitched 4 1/3 innings and allowed three runs on six hits with a walk and a strikeout. He did not earn a decision as the Royals lost 5-4 in 10 innings.

MacDougal joins pitchers Kevin Jarvis (San Diego), Mike Buddie (Milwaukee) and Sean DePaula (Cleveland) as the other Wake Forest alumni currently active in the majors.

MacDougal is expected to start again on Thursday against Detroit at Kauffmann Stadium in Kansas City and will likely make several starts for the Royals with 12 games remaining in the regular season. The Las Vegas, Nev., native was a first team All-America selection at Wake Forest in 1999 and helped lead the Demon Deacons to back-to-back ACC Championships in 1998 and 1999.

"We were just going to bring Mac (MacDougal) up here and let him get acquainted with this lifestyle," Royals manager Tony Muser said on the club's official website. "We wanted him to be around Big League pitchers and be around (pitching coach) Al Nipper. But because of (Paul Byrd's injury) situation, Mac was already here. He's here, let's pitch him."

MacDougal is more than willing to get out on the mound.

"I'm real excited," said the 24-year-old Las Vegas native before his debut. "It will be pretty neat to get my first start in the Big Leagues. I was coming up here to throw a few bullpen sessions and hang out. Now I'm pitching.

"It will get me ready for next year and get me some experience up here. Hopefully I'll learn what it takes to stay up here."

Muser is excited about the youngster's chances.

"He's a young kid with a good arm, very good movement with good velocity. Like a lot of young kids, control has been a big problem for him as has improving his second pitch, a slider. Over the last five starts in Triple-A, he made a big push. "I don't know how he'll pitch. A lot of kids struggle early when they first get here. I'm sure he's going to be antsy. In our situation, we're trying to battle our way out of the cellar. I think it's time to take a look at him."

--30--

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