No one is ever going to forget their Major League Baseball debut.
Curtis Partch's was just a little more memorable than most.
After six years in the minor leagues, the former Merced High and Merced College right-hander was called up by the Cincinnati Reds on June 8 and made his big-league debut the next night in a nationally televised game against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Reds manager Dusty Baker threw his rookie right into the fire, calling on Partch in the 10th inning with two out, the bases loaded and former All-Star Matt Holliday at the dish.
Holliday welcomed Partch to the show with one resounding swing of the bat, depositing a hanging slider into the left-field seats for a grand slam.
Partch bounced right back, getting Allen Craig to ground out to end the inning.
Since that point, the 6-foot-5, 240-pound redhead has done nothing but prove he belongs in the major leagues.
Partch allowed just one run on two hits while striking out eight in his next seven innings of relief. He got touched up a bit in his last outing, but that's going to happen to everyone in the major leagues on occasion.
In a nice bit of serendipity, Partch's promotion to the bigs coincides with Cincinnati making a rare trip to Oakland to take on the A's for a two-game series this week.
Partch should have a nice group of family and friends present for support.
Partch gives the Merced area two current MLB players, joining Doug Fister of the Detroit Tigers. The former Golden Valley and MC ace is 6-4 with a 3.66 ERA for the season.
With Partch's promotion to the bigs, there are still eight current minor leaguers with ties to the area. Here's a look at how they are doing:
Cody Martin, Triple-A Gwinnett
Martin had a tremendous Triple-A debut after getting called up last week.
The Dos Palos product tossed seven shutout innings, allowing two hits and striking out seven to improve to 4-3 on the season.
Jake Jefferies, Triple-A New Orleans
With three catchers on the Zephyrs' roster, Jefferies is struggling to get playing time.
He played in just three games in the month of May and has yet to play in June. The former Buhach Colony star has six hits in 30 at-bats on the year.
Bradin Hagens, Double-A Mobile
Hagens had a streak of quality starts snapped last week, but has still allowed three earned runs or less in 10 of his last 11 outings.
The former Merced College ace is 7-3 with a 3.07 ERA in his first full season at Double-A.
Eddie Gamboa, Double-A Bowie
Gamboa is struggling to piece together consecutive good starts at the moment.
He's struck out 64 and walked just 22 in 78 1/3 innings pitched on the season, but has been been hurt by allowing a hit per inning.
Dylan Floro, Low-A Bowling Green
The Midwest League All-Star just keeps dealing.
The former Buhach Colony star has allowed more than two earned runs in a game just once in his 11 starts on the season. Floro is 5-2 with a 2.29 ERA and has 40 strikeouts to just eight walks.
Brett Mooneyham, Low-A Hagerstown
Mooneyham has shown no ill effects since coming off the disabled list to start June.
The former BC southpaw has picked up back-to-back wins, allowing just two runs on five total hits. He's now 3-1 with a 2.05 ERA.
Jake Sisco, Low-A Lake County
Unlike during his time with the Blue Devils, Sisco has had some command issues recently, allowing 13 walks in his last three starts.
He's deftly managed to pitch around them, however, going 2-1 and allowing just four earned runs during that stretch.
Shawn Stuart, Low-A Tri-City
Stuart's opened the year coming out of the bullpen.
He allowed a run in his first appearance of the season, but has bounced back with 3 2/3 scoreless innings in two games since then.