Sept. 4, 2008
Cullowhee, N.C. -
Former Western Carolina right-hander, Mark DiFelice, was called up this week for a second time this season by the Milwaukee Brewers as rosters were expanded for late-season playoff runs.
The Brewers (80-59, .576) are currently 4.5 games out of first in the National League Central Division behind the division-leading Chicago Cubs (85-55, .607). Milwaukee does, however, lead the NL Wild Card race by the same margin (4.5) over the Philadelphia Phillies with 23 games remaining.
With the Brewers' Triple-A, Pacific Coast League team - the Nashville Sounds - DiFelice had posted a 5-1 record with a 3.22 ERA this season. He also had 65 strikeouts in 13 appearances, including 12 starts, for a combined 64.1 innings pitched.
In his first-ever stint in the Majors coming this year - mid-May through late June - the Bryn Mawr, Pa., native recorded a 3.95 ERA in 10 appearances, fanning 16 in 13.2 innings of relief work. His ERA was below the current MLB average of 4.30.
DiFelice (1995-98) was a 15th round draft pick (450th overall pick) by the Colorado Rockies after the 1998 season. He continues to hold the school-record with 34 career victories and the third-best winning percentage (34-13, .723). He made 66 career appearances, including 12 complete games which ranks tied for seventh in WCU history, with his 301 career strikeouts ranking third.
DiFelice gives Western Carolina -- the only school in the Southern Conference with a professional athlete in all three major team sports in the US -- two former baseball players in the Majors as former Catamount Jared Burton was activated off the 15-day disabled list this week by the Cincinnati Reds after missing the past two months. In two rehabilitation outings for Triple-A Louisville before his activation, Burton threw two scoreless innings and reported no problems.
Former Catamount, Jared Burton, with the Cincinnati Reds. (Photo courtesy of the Cincinnati Reds)
The two former WCU baseball players could square off against one another as Cincinnati and Milwaukee have six head-to-head meetings remaining this season. The Reds travel to Milwaukee Sept. 8-10, while the Brewers visit Cincy Sept. 19-21.
WCU's Professional Athletes:
Jared Burton, MLB - Cincinnati Reds
Mark DiFelice, MLB - Milwaukee Brewers
Brad Hoover, NFL - Carolina Panthers
Kevin Martin, NBA - Sacramento Kings
David Patten, NFL - New Orleans Saints