April 16, 2012
Former Auburn baseball player Evan Crawford threw a scoreless ninth inning in his Major League Debut on Sunday, allowing a hit and striking out one in the Toronto Blue Jays 9-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles.
Crawford, who played at Auburn from 2006-08 and was an eighth-round pick of the Blue Jays in 2008, was promoted to the big leagues on Friday.
"Just getting to come out on the field is a euphoric feeling," said Crawford. "It's one of those things that you've always looked forward to, and you're not sure if it's real when it happens, but it was awesome."
Crawford made 59 appearances in three years at Auburn, starting 27 games. As a freshman he was 5-8 with a 4.35 ERA in 78 2/3 innings, starting 15 games. He followed that up with a 5-6 mark in his sophomore campaign, making 12 starts and three relief appearances, piecing together a 5.91 ERA.
Crawford's finest season at Auburn came during his junior year when he was moved to the bullpen on a permanent basis. In 29 appearances that covered 44 2/3 innings, he went 3-0 with a 2.42 ERA, striking out 42 and holding opponents to a .244 batting average.
Placed on the Blue Jays 40-man roster last December, he has a career mark of 8-16 in five minor league seasons with a 3.37 ERA in 114 games (26 starts). He has spent parts of two years at the Double-A level, going 3-5 with a 3.11 ERA in 48 relief appearances at that level.
Crawford is the first former Auburn baseball player to make his big league debut since Josh Donaldson was called up by the Oakland A's in April 2010.
Crawford joins Donaldson, Tim Hudson (Atlanta Braves), David Ross (Atlanta Braves) and Clete Thomas (Minnesota Twins) as former Auburn players on major league rosters. Thomas had started the year with the Detroit Tigers before being claimed off waivers by the Twins on Saturday, April 14. Thomas homered in his first game for Minnesota.
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