UCLA’s Gerrit Cole a hit in major league debut with Pirates

Former UCLA Bruin and No. 1 overall draft pick Gerrit Cole gave up just two runs through 6 1/3 innings while driving in two runs in his major league debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday.
(Justin K. Aller / Getty Images)

Gerrit Cole had an impressive major league debut Tuesday … and he pitched well too.

Cole, a former UCLA pitcher, was called up by the Pittsburgh Pirates and sent out to face the San Francisco Giants. Cole had already pitched two scoreless innings when he came to the plate with the bases loaded.

He fell behind, 0-2, worked the count full and then singled to right to drive in two runs.

“I got a little lucky,” Cole told reporters after the game. “That was my first hit since high school.”

Lucky or not, the Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen told reporters, “He looked like a big league hitter working the count like that.”


As for the pitching part, Cole lived up to being the first overall pick in the 2011 draft. He wasn’t nervous before taking the mound. “I couldn’t understand it,” he said. “It made me a little worried.”

He allowed two runs in 6 1/3 innings, retiring 13 consecutive batters at one point.

He hit. He pitched. There was only one rookie mistake. Cole received a standing ovation when he left the game but didn’t tip his cap to Pirates fans as he walked off.

“I tried not to look up because I felt like I was going to smile,” Cole said.


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