Former GW Pitcher Mike O'Connor To Start For MLB's Nationals Tonight
April 27, 2006
WASHINGTON, DC - Former George Washington University left-handed pitcher Mike O'Connor, called up yesterday by the Washington Nationals, will make his major league debut tonight in St. Louis against the Cardinals (8:10 ET).
O'Connor, who played for GW from 1998-2002, will become just the fourth Colonials baseball player to play in the majors, joining catcher Steve Korcheck '54 (Washington Senators), Baltimore Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo '73 (infielder for the Minnesota Twins and San Diego Padres) and catcher John Flaherty '90 (recently retired from the New York Yankees) in the select group.
O'Connor was a seventh-round selection in the 2002 First-Year Player Draft by Montreal.
The Ellicott City, MD, native began the 2006 season with the New Orleans Zephyrs of the Pacific Coast League (Triple-A). With the Zephyrs, O'Connor posted a team-leading 2.41 ERA in four starts (did not register a decision) while recording 20 strikeouts in 18.2 innings.
O'Connor, 25, was named the Nationals' Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2005, going 10-11 with a 3.54 ERA (66 ER/167.2 IP) in 26 starts for the Potomac Nationals of the Carolina League (Class-A Advanced).
With the Potomac Nationals, O'Connor limited opposing Carolina League batters to a .229 batting average, and ranked among league leaders in wins (tied for sixth), strikeouts (second with 158), complete games (tied for first with two) and innings pitched (tied for first with 167.2).
He also led the Nationals minor league system in strikeouts and tied for first in victories. His 3.54 ERA ranked fourth among Nationals farmhands.
Through five professional seasons the left-hander is 28-25 with a 3.60 ERA (161 ER/402 IP), during which he has fanned 9.6 batters per 9.0 innings pitched (431 SO/402 IP).
A member of the Colonials' 2002 Atlantic 10 Championship Team, O'Connor currently ranks in numerous top 10 GW categories including appearances (second with 83), saves (tied for third with 10) and strikeouts (eighth with 202).
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