NORTHWOODS LEAGUE ANNOUNCES
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: April 27, 2009
Former Duluth Huskies Pitcher Melancon Makes MLB Debut
(BOSTON, MA) New York Yankees right-handed pitcher Mark Melancon (MUH-lan-sin) made his Major League debut Sunday night in a 4-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. The former Duluth Huskie pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Andy Pettitte in a game that was seen nationally on ESPN. Melancon, called up on Saturday, entered the game to start the seventh inning and set down Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, and David Ortiz in order throwing a fastball clocked as high as 96 MPH. Melancon put himself in a bases loaded, no-out jam in the eighth inning. However, he retired the next three batters to finish off his two scoreless innings.
With the early season struggles and injury issues that the New York Yankees bullpen has been having, Melancon’s numbers at Triple-A made it difficult for him to stay in the minor leagues any longer. In six appearances for Scranton-Wilkes Barre this April, the 24-year old had pitched 10.1 scoreless innings while striking out 17, walking just three, and allowing only four hits. The Golden, CO native earned two wins to go along with his 0.00 ERA.
Drafted in the ninth round in 2006, Melancon missed the entire 2007 season following Tommy John surgery. After pitching in the Dominican Republic that offseason he entered Yankees big league camp in 2008 as one of the team’s most talked about prospects.
For the Huskies in 2004, the 6’2”, 215 pound Melancon pitched in seven games making six starts. He finished the season with a 1-2 record, 1.95 ERA, and 33 strikeouts in 37 innings. He didn’t join the Huskies until around the first of July that summer following his freshman year at the University of Arizona where the Wildcats made a run to the College World Series.
Melancon becomes the 54th Northwoods League player to make it to the big leagues and the third Duluth Huskies player to do so. Doug Mathis, another member of Duluth’s 2004 starting rotation, saw time with the Texas Rangers last season and is currently in Triple-A. Duluth advanced to the NWL Championship Series in 2004 before losing to the Madison Mallards.
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.