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Former HiToms Phil Irwin Helps Pirates Defest the Reds

April 14, 2013 - Coastal Plain League (Coastal Plain) - High Point-Thomasville HiToms News Release

Former High Point-Thomasville HiToms pitcher Phil Irwin made his major league debut for the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 14.

Starting on the mound, Irwin went on to give up five runs - four earned - in 4 2/3 innings with four strikeouts. Pittsburgh fell behind 5-0 to the Cincinnati Reds before Irwin's teammates rallied for 10 runs in the seventh and eighth innings to see the Pirates on to a 10-7 victory.

Irwin becomes the first CPL alum to debut during the 2013 MLB season and the 60th alum overall to make his debut in the majors. He is also the fourth former HiTom to debut.

Drafted in the 21st round out of Mississippi by Pittsburgh in 2009, Irwin started his professional career at low-A State College. He started the 2010 season with Single-A West Virginia, posting a 6-3 record with 3.35 ERA before joining High-A Bradenton the next season. After starting out 5-0 in 2011, Irwin moved up to Double-A Altoona.

Last year, he rejoined Bradenton for a quick stop before going back to Altoona and then being promoted to Triple-A Indianapolis. While with the Indians, he was 3-0 with a 2.57 ERA through 21 innings pitched. Irwin was 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA with Indianapolis in 2013 before receiving the call up to join the Pirates.

During the summer of 2008, Irwin finished with a record of 3-0 with a respectable ERA of 2.97. In 33 1/3 innings of work, he surrendered just 11 runs - all earned - on 32 hits. He walked 15 and struck out 40. The HiToms featured a league-best _ record and were the top seed in the Petitt Cup Tournament. Despite Irwin getting charged with the loss (only two unearned runs given up) in his only appearance in the postseason that season, he did draw attention from the scouts in attendance after he struck out nine in 6 1/3 innings. The HiToms, however, went on to win their third-straight CPL Petitt Cup championship - securing Irwin with a championship finish.

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