Published On: April 10th, 2009



Date: April 10, 2009

Former River Bat Jakubauskas Makes MLB Debut

(MINNEAPOLIS, MN) Seattle Mariners RHP Chris Jakubauskas (Jak-uh-bou-skuhs) made his Major League debut Wednesday night in a 6-5 loss to the Minnesota Twins at the Metrodome. He becomes the 51st Northwoods League player to make it to the big leagues. The former St. Cloud River Bat threw two scoreless innings, while allowing one hit and striking out two. He erased the one hit he allowed by picking off Michael Cuddyer at second base following a double. 

Jakubauskas took a precarious route to the big leagues. He was predominantly an outfielder in his River Bats days and throughout his three collegiate stops. After failing to get drafted out of the University of Oklahoma in 2002 he gave up baseball for about a year. Then in 2003 he decided that he wasn’t done with the sport and pursued a career as a pitcher in independent ball. He caught on with the Florence Freedom of the Frontier League in May of 2003, the first of three seasons he spent in that league. He jumped independent leagues to the Golden Baseball League in 2006 and began his 2007 season in the American Association. Finally, after improving his pitching numbers each year, he began the 2007 season 6-0 with a 2.42 ERA with the Lincoln Saltdogs which led to him signing with the Mariners organization. He was a non-roster invitee to Major League camp this spring after two good seasons in the minors. He earned a roster spot with the big league club after going 2-0 with a 1.99 ERA in 22.2 innings in spring training.

For the River Bats in 1999, the left-handed hitting Jakubauskus played in 50 games and batted .268 with four home runs and 21 RBI. At that time the 6’2”, 215 pound native of Upland, CA was going to school at Citrus College in Glendora, CA. After two years there he transferred to Santa Clara University for one year before finishing at Oklahoma.

The Northwoods League plays more games than, draws more fans than, and plays in venues superior to any Summer Collegiate Baseball League in North America. The league will begin its 16th season of action on May 28.

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