Marco Gonzales, a 2010 graduate of Rocky Mountain, made his Major League debut for the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday -- against the hometown Colorado Rockies, no less.
He allowed five earned runs on seven hits and two walks, and struck out three in five innings of work at Coors Field. True to his history as a talented two-way player, Gonzales also doubled to left-center field in his first major league at-bat and later scored.
Gonzales ultimately got a no-decision, but the Cardinals came back to beat the Rockies with a late rally, 9-6.
Gonzales was the winning pitcher in each of Rocky Mountain's baseball championships from 2007-10, and remains the only high school player in Colorado history to do so.
He went on to star for Gonzaga as a left-handed pitcher and outfield/infielder. As a junior, he won the John Olerud Award award -- given annually to the best two-way player in college baseball.
Gonzales was then selected by the Cardinals in the first round of the 2013 draft at No. 19 overall.
He made meteoric rise through the Cardinals' farm system. After playing at the organization's Rookie and High-A affiliates last season, he began 2014 at High-A, and then made seven starts for Double-A Springfield. Then, the 22-year-old Gonzales was called up on Wednesday.
Wednesday, he cruised through the first three innings -- in fact, he didn't allow a hit -- but then surrendered all five earned runs in the fourth.
"It was a blast," Gonzales told the Fort Collins Coloradoan afterward. "I had people flying in from everywhere and I'm very grateful for it. I've seen my fair share of games and I've played here a few times, so coming here and having family here was a blast."
Gonzales is the first Colorado product to make their Major League debut this season, and the most recent since Grandview grad Kevin Gausman debuted for Baltimore in May 2013.
"(Gonzales) was really good, all things considered," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny told MLB.com after the game. "First opportunity here in the situation we put him in, it was an incredible test. Hopefully he answered a lot of questions for himself about himself."
Gonzales' father, Frank, played baseball at La Junta, and later coached at Fort Collins. He's now the pitching coach for the Tri-City Dust Devils, the Rockies' short-season Class A affiliate in Washington.