July 15, 2013

Cullowhee, N.C. - Former Western Carolina reliever - and current Kansas City Royals closer - Greg Holland will replace Seattle Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma on the American League All-Star roster, MLB announced Sunday.

Holland becomes the first Catamount baseball player to earn a bid into the Mid-Summer Classic, which will be played Tuesday, July 16 at Citi Field in New York, N.Y. He joins teammates Alex Gordon and Salvador Perez on the AL's roster marking the first time three Royals players were in the All-Star game since 1988 when George Brett, Kurt Stillwell and Mark Gubicza were all selected.

The MLB All-Star selection is the second of his professional career as he earned Texas League Mid-season All-Star honors in 2009 while playing in the Royals' farm system with the Northwest Arkansas Naturals.

Holland dominated opposing hitters in the first half of 2013, posting a 1.80 ERA with 22 saves over 35 innings. The closer has struck out 44 percent of the batters he has faced this season, which leads MLB, and has struck out the side six separate times.

Originally from Marion, N.C., Holland recorded 19 saves for Western Carolina from 2005-07, currently fifth in program history. He posted 10 career victories in his 82 career appearances, finishing with a 4.22 career ERA through 149.1 innings pitched. He recorded 154 career strikeouts against 70 walks.

In 2007, Holland posted a career-best 10 saves in earning first team All-Southern Conference accolades as the Catamounts claimed a share of the regular season title. He was also named to the SoCon's Spring Academic All-Conference team twice in both 2006 and `07.

Holland was drafted by Kansas City in the 10th round of the 2007 MLB First-Year Player Draft on the heels of WCU's runner-up finish in the NCAA Baseball Chapel Hill regional. He went on to make his Major League debut on August 2, 2010 against the Oakland Athletics.

The 2013 Major League Baseball All-Star game is scheduled for 8:00 pm ET on Tuesday, July 16 on Fox.