08/01/12 — Capps gets called up to Seattle

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Capps gets called up to Seattle

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on August 1, 2012 1:49 PM


News-Argus Sports Writer

SEATTLE -- Carter Capps doesn't have to dream anymore.

He is living the dream.

Capps, the former Mount Olive College and North Lenoir High School standout, was promoted from Triple-A Tacoma to the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday along with fellow pitcher Stephen Pryor.

The duo joined the Mariners' pitching staff after trades that sent Brandon League to the Los Angeles Dodgers and Steve Delabar to the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday. Both Capps and Pryor were in Seattle's bullpen for the Mariners' 7-2 win over Toronto on Tuesday night, but neither appeared in the game.

"It was pretty incredible," Capps said in an article by Greg Johns of MLB.com. "I was pretty shocked for a while. I thought somebody was messing with me at first, but luckily they weren't. This is what you want to play for when you're a little kid. It's definitely a dream come true.

"This [stadium] is a lot taller than I thought it was. There's a lot of seats in here. You don't really realize when you're watching on TV how big it is. This is nice."

Capps becomes the first Mount Olive player to reach the major leagues since Steve Mintz made his major league debut with San Francisco in May of 1995.

Capps began this season at Double-A Jackson (Tenn.) and recorded 19 saves with a 1.26 ERA and 72 strikeouts with just 12 walks in 50 innings. He also earned a spot in the Double-A All-Star game. His lone appearance in Triple-A came on Monday night and Capps retired all four batters he faced with three strikeouts in 1 1/3 innings. Capps' fastball reportedly averaged 99 miles-per-hour on Monday night and reached 100.

In 51 1/3 innings pitched this season, Capps has tallied seven strikeouts and surrendered just eight runs.

A catcher at North Lenoir, Capps blossomed into a dominant pitcher in two seasons in a Trojans' uniform after redshirting in 2009. He set an NCAA Division II baseball record with 24 consecutive wins, including the first-ever nine-inning no-hitter in Mount Olive history. He helped the Trojans to a third-place tie at the 2011 Division II College World Series in Cary.

Capps was also named the Division II pitcher-of-the-year by three different publications during his final season with the Trojans. He was also named the Conference Carolinas male athlete-of-the-year in 2011.

Capps was drafted by Seattle with the 121st pick in the 2011 Major League Baseball First-Year Player draft. The Mariners entertain Toronto tonight before traveling to New York for a three-game series with the Yankees that begins Friday night.