Santa Clarita Native Takes The Majors By Storm

by Cory Rubin, Staff Writer 361 views0

At Sierra Vista Junior High School in Canyon Country, Zach Britton was well known around campus for his sense of humor.  Flash forward a decade and 23-year old Britton is taking the major leagues by storm, fast becoming a superstar, pitching for the Baltimore Orioles.

Despite a promising spring,  the left-handed hurler was slated to spend the year in Triple-A Norfolk, however an injury to Starter, Brian Matusz, jump-started his jump to stardom.

Britton made his Major League debut in front of a home crowd on April 3rd, taking the mound against division rival Tampa Bay.  The game  started off promising for Britton as he caught Elliot Johnson looking with a 93 MPH slider on the inside edge of the plate for his first big league strike out.

In the bottom of the 2nd Inning, Britton continued to impress striking out Sean Rodriguez swinging with a 91 MPH sinker that started off at the waist and ended at the knees.  The next at bat, Britton shut down first baseman, Dan Johnson with an 86 MPH breaking ball on the inside edge to end the inning.

The third inning started off shaky for the rookie, walking the first two batters and giving up his first earned run on a RBI bunt single by Elliot Johnson that drove in B.J. Upton.  But Britton showed maturity by getting out of a jam, striking out Ben Zobrist with a nasty 85 MPH sinker to end the inning.

In the 5th inning Britton fanned his 5th batter, sending outfielder, Matt Joyce back to the dugout with a 92 MPH slider that started right down the middle but ended about 6 inches outside.

Britton capped off the 6th and final inning of is debut by stumping catcher, Kelly Shoppach with an 85 MPH sinker.  In his debut that lasted 6 innings, Britton  gave up 1 run, on 3 hits with 6 strikeouts and 3 walks taking home his first major league win.

Britton silenced doubters in his second start facing the defending American League West Champion, Texas Rangers.  The young south-paw pitched 7.2 shutout innings giving up no runs on 4 hits, striking out outfielder Julio Borbon and second baseman Ian Kinsler and walking 3.

Through 2 starts, the 23-year old rookie that once called Santa Clarita home is 2-0 in 13.2 innings pitched with an ERA of 0.66.   He has racked up 8 strikeouts, while giving up just 1 run and 7 hits.  His next start is scheduled for tomorrow to take on the Cleveland Indians at 4:15pm PST.