Former Illini Joey Gerber gets Big League call, makes impressive debut

Local Sports

WCIA — Former Illinois closer Joey Gerber got the call of a lifetime on Tuesday, officially becoming a Big Leaguer. The Seattle Mariners relief pitcher made the most of his debut too, sitting down three straight Angels hitters in the sixth inning, including future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols.

Gerber is the 76th Illini to make it to the MLB. The 8th round pick of the Mariners in the 2018 draft was invited to Seattle’s 60-player training roster in June and was one of 22 non-roster invitees to the Mariners’ camp. He did not make the big club out of camp and instead worked out in Tacoma with the rest of Seattle’s taxi squad.

At Illinois, Gerber tied the single season saves record converting 14-of-14 chances, a mark previously held by Tyler Jay. It was broken by Garrett Acton last season.

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