Kevin Gausman, the Baltimore Orioles' first pick in this year's Major League Baseball draft, made his professional pitching debut with the Aberdeen IronBirds Monday night, and though his performance was limited in quantity, its quality left nothing to be desired.
The 21-year-old out of LSU tossed three perfect innings in State College, Pa., helping Aberdeen to a 4-1 victory over the Spikes.
Gausman, who already threw 123 2/3 innings as a starter during his 2012 college season for the Tigers in the SEC, mowed through nine straight hitters, striking out two, retiring five on fly balls and getting the other two on ground balls before being lifted before the fourth inning.
Getting the win was IronBirds pitcher Cameron Coffey (2-5), who tossed five innings after Gausman's departure, striking out three, walking two and holding the Spikes to one earned run on two hits along the way.
Tommy Winegardner, the St. Leonard, Md. native who took over as Aberdeen's closer in late July after playing middle infield for the first 79 games of his pro career, racked up his fourth save of the season, striking out one hitter in a perfect ninth inning.
Lucas Herbst led Aberdeen at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a double, two RBIs and one run scored. Joel Hutter ripped a one-RBI double in the victory, while teammates Anthony Vega and Creede Simpson both went 2-for-4 with one run. Scott Kalush helped the winning cause with two singles and one RBI.
Gausman was selected fourth overall out of Louisiana State University by the Orioles in this year's June draft. The 6-foot-4 right hander contemplated returning to LSU for his junior year, but agreed to a contract with the Orioles that included a $4.32 million bonus just moments before the July 13 signing deadline expired. In 2010 Gausman, having just wrapped up his career at Grandview High School in Colorado, was drafted in the sixth round by the Los Angeles Dodgers, but opted to attend LSU rather than sign a pro contract.
With the win, Aberdeen moved to 20-28 for the season.