CRAWFORD | Former Butler, Louisville standout McGrath aces Major League debut
Former University of Louisville and Butler High School standout Kyle McGrath pitched a perfect inning in his long-awaited Major League debut on Sunday.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Kyle McGrath helped lead Butler High School to a state runner-up finish, but went to the University of Louisville without a scholarship after transferring from Eastern Kentucky.
By the time he finished at Louisville, he was a Major League draft pick who said goodbye with two scoreless relief innings in a high-pressure NCAA Regional win over rival Kentucky.
Nothing came easy on his baseball journey. He pitched in 119 Minor League games and threw 183-plus innings with a career earned run average of 1.61 before finally getting the call he’d dreamed of this past Wednesday night, to report to the San Diego Padres. But the wait wasn’t over.
It took four days, and according to MLB.com, his parents, Melissa and James McGrath, canceled their return flight to Louisville to see him finally get into a game.
The wait was worth it. On Sunday, one day before his 25th birthday, in front of a Petco Park crowd of 30,267, McGrath took the mound for the Padres, coming on in the seventh inning.
He struck out the first batter he faced, Pittsburgh starting pitcher Gerrit Cole, then retired two more batters in order.
He told MLB.com, “It's everything you really dream of. A lot of nerves. You look around with the crowd, this place is almost full, and it's a really cool feeling."
Afterward, McGrath, his parents and his fiancée celebrated the moment in the tunnel at the stadium. In Louisville’s South End, they may still be celebrating tonight.
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