LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC – Growing up in Clearwater, Florida, Ryan Garton always dreamed of playing for the Rays at Tropicana Field. Last night, the former Columbia Blowfish, now known as Lexington County, got his chance.
Ryan Garton became the 89th former Coastal Plain League player to make his MLB debut last night when took to the mound for the Tampa Bay Rays. Garton is the 6th player from the Coastal Plain League this season to get the call up to the Majors.
Garton pitched to a 1.85 ERA in 34 innings of work during the 2010 season with the Blowfish. In five seasons in the Minor Leagues, Garton posted a 21 and 6 record most recently pitching for the Durham Bulls.
“I still don’t think it’s real,” Garton said. “It could be a dream.”
Garton becomes the second Blowfish to make his Major League debut since the team’s first season in 2006. Garton came on during the fifth inning to pitch two innings of relief in the Rays 9-1 loss to the Miami Marlins.
Owner of the Lexington County Blowfish, Bill Shanahan was excited to hear the news of one of his former players.
“This is a great way to start the season off,” Shanahan said. “He the league’s 6th this season, which already ties the max we had last year. Hopefully that is a sign of more good new to come.”
The inaugural Blowfish Alumni game kicks off the season Monday, May 30th at Lexington County Baseball Stadium. Former Blowfish players from the 2006 team through 2014 will take on the 2016 Blowfish at 7:05pm Monday night.
The next night begins the Blowfish 2016 season. Lexington County opens up Tuesday, May 31st in Gastonia against the Grizzlies. Tickets are on sale for the home opener against Florence. First pitch is 7:05 on Wednesday, June 1st. Call 803-254-3474 or visit Blowfish on Main at 101 East Main Street in Lexington to purchase your tickets today.