On May 1, 2013 the Baltimore Orioles fell to the Seattle Mariners 8-3. But for one O’s pitcher it was one of the best day’s of his life.
UMBC alum Zach Clark made his Major League debut for the Orioles, pitching 1.2 innings while giving up three runs on three hits.
For Clark, who signed with the Orioles after going undrafted after graduating in 2006, it completed a long journey to the bigs. He really got on the Orioles radar with an outstanding season last year, making Baltimore add him to the 40 man roster.
“I’m so happy for Zach and the work he has put in,” said former UMBC head coach John Jancuska in a press release. “Because Zach was here for five years, he was always in my office to talk baseball and life, and we really developed a tremendous relationship and friendship.”
Clark becomes the third Retriever ever to put on a Major League uniform, following Jay Witasick and Wayne Franklin.
Just a few days after his first game, Clark was designated for assignment by the Orioles to make room for Freddy Garcia. Clark cleared waivers and will be headed to Double A Bowie where he will pitch for the Baysox.
“It’s about right for my path,” Clark said. “If I thought it was going to be easy once I got here, I’d be naïve.”
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports is reporting the Orioles will try to make Clark a knuckleball pitcher. Orioles manager Buck Showalter helped last year’s Cy Young award winner R.A. Dickey develop a knuckleball when the two were in Texas.