Cougar Sluggers Make Pro Debut
June 19, 2012
PASCO, Wash. -- After two college seasons in Pullman and a summer in the Cape Cod League as teammates, Washington State University baseball alumni Taylor Ard and Derek Jones made their professional debut as foes.
Ard was selected in the seventh round of the 2012 MLB First-Year Player Draft and assigned to the Everett AquaSox of the Northwest League. Jones was taken a round later by the Colorado Rockies and sent to the Tri-City Dust Devils.
Everett and Tri-City met in the season opener for both teams, Friday, June 15 at Gesa Stadium.
Ard was in the starting line-up, batting fourth and playing first base for the AquaSox. In his second at bat, he was robbed off a hit by a sparkling defensive play, but collected his first RBI and tied the game 1-1. In the ninth inning, the Vancouver, Wash., native singled through the left side for his first professional hit to end a 1-for-4 night.
Jones did not start for the Dust Devils, but made his professional debut leading off the sixth inning. He pinch hit for Charlie Blackmon, who was on a rehab assignment from the Rockies. That means Jones can say he pinch hit for a big leaguer the first time he stepped into a professional batter's box.
The Snohomish, Wash., native was hit by a pitch during that first plate appearance. Jones is no stranger to being hit. He earned a free pass that way 34 times in his Cougar career, tied for fourth in Washington State history. Jones finished 0-for-1 in a 2-1 Everett vicory.
Through four games, Ard is batting .308 with two doubles and three RBI. Jones sits at .222, but does have a hit in each of his two starts. His first hit was a triple.
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