July 11, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Former Buckeye Drew Rucinski made his Major League Baseball debut Thursday night, pitching the ninth inning of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’s 15-6 win over the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas. The right-hander becomes the fourth Buckeye to play in the big leagues this season, joining Eric Fryer, JB Shuck and Nick Swisher.
“It’s awesome,” Rucinski told Angels.com of the promotion. “I’m excited and grateful for the opportunity. I found out [Wednesday] night in Tulsa. They told me to pack up and come here. Baseball’s crazy. You never know what’s going to happen. I’m just thrilled to be here.”
Prior to his promotion, Rucinski was 7-4 with a 2.35 earned-run average in 17 starts at Double-A Arkansas. A Texas League All-Star and Texas League Pitcher of the Week in June, Rucinski had struck out 85 and walked 28 while allowing opponents to hit just .235.
Rucinski, who signed a free-agent contract with the Cleveland Indians in 2011, pitched for the Rockland Aviators of the independent Frontier League in 2012 and 2013 before signing a free-agent contract with the Angels last August. He earned second team All-Big Ten honors and ranked fifth in the Big Ten in earned run average as a senior in 2011. Rucinski went 5-3 with a 2.95 ERA and 53 strikeouts in a team-high 82.1 innings pitched as the Buckeyes’ Friday night starter. He ranks 16th all-time at Ohio State with 22 career wins and 15th with 257.1 innings pitched.