Ethan Roberts makes his first two appearances in the Minor Leagues
By Andy Southard | July 12, 2018 8:08 am
White County native Ethan Roberts got his professional baseball career started with his first-ever appearance in a minor league baseball game.
Roberts, a 2015 graduate of White County High School, became arguably the greatest relief pitcher in Tennessee Tech program history in just three years, shattering the school marks for career saves and single-season saves, while also becoming the first Tech reliever (and only the fifth different pitcher) to record over 100 strikeouts. He finished his junior campaign with a 2.30 ERA, 6-1 record, and 15 saves in 28 appearances, including one start. He tossed 78 and one-third innings, allowing just 65 hits and 20 earned runs while striking out 103 to only 22 walks. The Sparta native became the highest drafted Golden Eagle in program history, relative to round, as a fourth-round selection of the Chicago Cubs.
Roberts would get his first appearance on the big stage on July 5 against the Boise Hawks. Roberts would start off the inning a little shaky but would settle down. Roberts would throw two-thirds of an inning, giving up one hit and one unearned run. He would strike out two and walked two.
Roberts’ second appearance would come on July 9 at home against the Hillsboro Hops. Roberts would struggle a little in that appearance. He would pitch one inning, giving up one hit and one run. He would hit one batter and walk one.
Roberts would comment on his first two appearances.
“My first appearance was the day after my birthday,” he said. “I flew up to meet the team on my birthday, and that was pretty amazing. Pitching at this level is something I will have to get used to. The atmosphere and the environment are different. Going home to pitch in Eugene, Oregon, four days after my first appearance was amazing. The home crowd here was great. It felt like I belonged with this organization, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds. I have to keep working hard and putting in the work. I would also like to thank everybody back home who has sent me good luck texts and to check in. That means so much to me, and I am so appreciative of the city of Sparta and the community of White County.”